In Part One of our blog: 8 Data-Driven Obstacles B2B’s Should Sidestep, we took an in-depth look at
three obstacles that data-driven marketers need to avoid in 2020. More importantly, we shared four easy to implement ways to overcome these obstacles. In Part Two, we continue our journey with the final five obstacles you should sidestep on the road to bigger and better data-driven strategies and marketing campaign successes.
Obstacle #4: 24% of B2Bs struggle with a lack of integration between marketing and sales platforms.
The primary reason why nearly a quarter of all B2B marketers are struggling with integration issues is due to a dependence on an already backlogged IT department. Oftentimes, IT’s ability to develop and implement software integrations must take a back seat to other IT critical roles, like security and software maintenance. Naturally, this scenario is tough on marketers, but it is easily overcome.
B2B Hack for a Lack of Integration Between Marketing and Sales Platforms
If integrations are your obstacle, a good quality marketing integration platform is your answer. Your integration platform should connect everything in your martech stack, as well as other databases throughout the company that you would like to connect to. Ideally, your integration platform should come with pre-built connectors for all the popular marketing automation platforms (MAPs) and Customer Relationship Management systems (CRMs). Pre-built connectors empower you and your team members to take a quick and simple DIY approach to integrations. In addition to pre-built connectors, look for a platform that also offers customizable connectors. These allow you to integrate lesser known apps and tools and establish custom workflows that enable you to reduce manual steps and make tools work together the way you want. When you can perform your own integrations without burdening IT, it’s a win-win for everyone.
Obstacle #5: 23% of B2Bs struggle with a lack of internal data resources.
This issue is typically associated with marketing departments that are in the process of building their martech stacks and don’t have all of the pieces they need — yet.
B2B Hack for a Lack of Internal Data Resources
Sometimes a lack of budget or a legacy system can stall your data dreams, but as marketing technology progresses, many items that were once considered big-ticket have become more affordable. Moreover, most offer free trials, and these allow you to show whoever is holding the purse strings why a data-driving tool you want is worth the investment. If deciding between technologies is a lengthy process at your company, consider purchasing third party data in the interim, so that your ability to personalize campaigns doesn’t suffer. Lastly, it’s always a good idea to review as often as necessary the type of data you are collecting or want to collect, and how it’s being collected (web forms, emails, mobile, social, direct input from sales or customer service, etc.). Often a simple review of current data collection processes can reveal both gaps and fresh opportunities to ask customers and prospects for the data you want and need. Finally, before selecting your martech, consider using a martech checklist to help you stay focused on your primary needs and eliminate the distractions caused by feature-overload.
Obstacle #6: 22% of B2Bs struggle with a lack of analytics capabilities.
This issue is often viewed as a personnel problem, but it shouldn’t be. Yes, it’s true that data analysts in today’s market are both scarce and expensive hires, but they aren’t the only ones capable of drawing actionable intel from your data!
B2B Hack for a Lack of Analytics Capabilities
Because the martech industry foresaw the data analyst shortage, many developers began working on ways to incorporate data analyzation into their apps and tools, so that those without an analyst’s background or education could still view and understand the stories that the numbers and information were telling. These days, a marketing department with a limited budget can use a Customer Data Platform (CDP) that has a dashboard feature to track data trends, maintain superior data quality, identify the Total Addressable Market (TAM), and much more. What’s more, modern CDPs are designed to be user-friendly, so anyone on your team can view its data visualizations and make wise decisions based on what the data reveals. In addition to selecting martech that has data analytics built-in, you may also choose to give everyone on your team a crash course in the finer points of data analytics via an online training and certification program, like Six Sigma’s Data Analytics Certification course. At a cost of less than $200 per team member, this course promises to equip your team with basic skills in analysis, data processing, data visualization, and trend predictions.
Obstacle #7: 21% of B2Bs struggle with inaccurate customer data.
Just like tooth decay, data decay is an invisible plight that totally stinks. According to ZoomInfo:
- 62% of organizations rely on marketing and prospect data that’s up to 40% inaccurate
- Up to 25% of B2B database contacts contain critical errors
- 40% of business objectives fail due to inaccurate data
B2B Hack for Inaccurate Customer Data
Dirty data is one of the most costly data issues and yet it is the most easily (and economically) fixed. To ensure you keep your data clean and ready for use at a moment’s notice, there are a few things you will want to do. First, integrate all of your data sources via a data integration platform. This step ensures that everyone company-wide is using the same data, so there are no hidden siloes where dirty data can infect the outcomes of campaigns with poor performances. Next, establish data standards to ensure data maintains a uniform appearance enterprise-wide. This step is critical to building customer confidence, and eliminating duplicate data. Lastly, use your CDP to continuously monitor data quality, automate data validation and enrichment processes, and identify and fix gaps in your segment data. In short, your CDP is your first and final line of defense against dirty data and the costly errors it creates.
Obstacle #8: 27% of B2Bs struggle with data compliance regulations (GDPR, CCPA, etc.).
Ensuring your data is upholding privacy laws is a topic that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. Although the topic of accounting for and safeguarding all of the data that flows in and out of your databases can seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be.
B2B Hack for Complying With Data Privacy Regulations
To make certain the data you collect is protected from hackers and other potentially harmful breaches in security, there are a few things you will need to do. First, you need to create a list of the all the types of data you are collecting, such as contact information, financial, etc. Then, you need to map how this data is moved throughout your organization. If you have already integrated all of your databases and are monitoring your data from a centralized location like a CDP, it is easier to note what’s being collected and how it’s moving through your organization. Hopefully, your CDP offers push-button reporting and centralized access to all data company-wide, as these two features significantly reduce the burden of compliance. Lastly, you will want to work with IT to create an emergency response plan in the event of a data hack. No one ever expects to be hacked, but having a plan in place will help reduce the costs and stress associated with these events. In business (and life), it’s always good to be prepared.