Lead generation and data quality share a strong relationship; this fact has again been established by some numbers thrown up by the cloud-based marketing software provider Integrate. Integrate, a company whose primary functions include standardizing and automating demand generation, recently analyzed the data quality of over 775,000 leads meant for B2B (business-to-business) marketers belonging to the tech industry.
All these leads were generated during the year 2014. According to the said analysis, data quality of as much as 40% of all generated leads was extremely poor. Those leads either possessed duplicate, incomplete or invalid data or failed to meet the criteria put up by marketers.
This revelation by Integrate has significantly increased the challenge B2B marketers face when trying to acquire clean and accurate data using different marketing programs. It even shows how powerful the roadblock created by “dirty data” – incomplete, erroneous or inaccurate data – can be when not managed well before getting used in different sales and marketing steps.
Integrate has talked about some factors that stop marketers from properly monitoring data quality or even comprehending the importance of the same. It has pointed out that even today the majority of marketers don’t realize how badly poor data can affect a business’s revenue generation process and client retaining capability.
To establish its point, the cloud-based marketing software provider has cited other sources as well. For instance, it cited research by SiriusDecisions, a leading B2B research and advisory firm.
According to SiriusDecisions, as much as 25% of the databases used by B2B marketers are inaccurate. That’s not all. Surveys conducted by the research firm also found that the overall data quality of 60% of companies is ‘unreliable’.
Matt Heinz of the Seattle-based marketing agency Heinz Marketing believes that dirty data can be the biggest spoilsport in any marketing campaign. According to Heinz, such data makes businesses look bad, spoils their domain, reputation and brand image and even reduces the impact of attractive offers and high quality content. He concluded by saying that business owners can ignore Integrate’s report and suggestions at their own peril.
Here are some major findings of the said analysis by Integrate:
* The data quality issues that are most common include duplicate data, invalid vales and missing fields.
* Less common issues, on the other hand, include failed address and email validation and invalid formatting. Finding solutions to these problems are however more difficult than solving the common data quality issues mentioned above.
* Not using any data governance program would have required the analyzed media companies to manually detect and fix a total of 313,890 data issues.
* Considering that average costs of B2B leads are more than $50, it can be said that the detected address and email validation errors would have translated into wastage of over $2.5 million.
Integrate’s chief marketing officer Scott Vaughan, when talking about his company’s recent analysis, said that as marketing is becoming more data driven with every passing day, it’s high time that marketers focus more on data quality and make it their top priority. How marketers change their strategies based on this report is, however, yet to be seen.
Lead Generation Suffers Quality Issues
Lead generation, the process of obtaining information, for a number of reasons which could include expanding the scope of a particular business or endeavoring to increase sales revenues, is very useful in the business world as a means you can stay in the race and remain competitive. However, some quality issues relating to inaccurate or incomplete information could be a threat to the system, and to be more specific, to B2B demand generation.
B2B (business-to-business) demand generation is slightly different from lead generation although they both impact marketing and sales. To put it simply, let’s just say that B2B demand generation is more technical and more focused on nurturing leads and generating interest in a company’s services or products whereas lead generation is on the broader side of luring in potential customers.
Accurate and updated information is crucial in B2B demand generation. It could mean the difference between gaining clients or losing them. So making sure you have the correct data should definitely be one of the highlights not just for demand generation but for lead generation as well.
Contributing Factors to Lead Generation Quality Issues
Marketing data relies greatly on online forms. The problem with these online forms is they are frequently incomplete. Examples of important information that could be missing or inaccurate include phone numbers, email addresses, and company information like industry and revenue data.
To be able to reach clients is crucial in closing the business loop, and accurate and updated profiles enables you to strategize your approach for potential customers. You also need correct and valid email addresses to be able to nurture leads. Additionally, you need the ability to reach your leads via phone to get one step closer to closing the deal.
There are many programs and services out there that deal with lead and demand generation and a lot has been done to try to improve matters. But from the looks of things, there are many more adjustments that need to be made and much more tinkering to do to alleviate the situation.
Improvements That can be Made to Fill in the Gap
While digital online forms are very helpful in lead generation, they do have certain limitations. For one, not everybody is comfortable with sharing information online, and these individuals certainly can’t be blamed given the inconveniences they might encounter.
For all the advancements we’ve achieved in the digital world, there’s still no substitute for the human and personal touch. I mean, sure, online forms and surveys are great sources of data. But to go even further and to get more accurate information, nothing still beats a good old-fashioned phone call.
Of course, I’m not implying that we hound potential clients with phone calls. That’s probably in the same vicinity as receiving spam in your inbox. The key here is to reel them in, and that’s going to be easier if they feel comfortable, and that in turn is achieved by giving them a sense of control.
Aside from online forms, potential customers should have the option of being able to call you in a manner and at a time that’s convenient for them. This simple solution can go a long way in dealing with quality issues for lead and demand generation.
Lead Generation for Real Estate Gets Decoded
Lead generation is a vital part of any business’ marketing strategy, particularly in the increasingly competitive field of real estate. Lead generation is what gets people interested in your business and makes them more likely to invest in your services. In real estate, this is vital as there are a lot of real estate organizations out there all vying for the same audiences. However, when running your own real estate business and investigating your marketing strategies, it’s vital not to forget the importance of the other aspects of marketing. Brand awareness, networking, referral nurturing and other parts of your grand marketing plan need to be attended to as well. Don’t forget that lead generation isn’t the only thing that matters when it comes to real estate marketing.
Why is brand awareness so important?
Studies have shown that people tend to hire the very first real estate company that they speak with. Meaning, if these people aren’t even aware of the existence of your brand, then you don’t have much of a chance of building a network of clients in the first place. If people instantly think of your brand when they are on the hunt for a real estate agent, they are much more likely to track you down and do business with you, as they’ll have an image in their minds that associates your company with ideas of efficiency and popularity. Advertising plays a huge role in the minds of clients, we tend to trust the brands we see the most, even if we’ve never actually dealt with them before.
Therefore, it’s important not to neglect this side of marketing by focusing solely on lead generation. When attempting to boost your profits and attract more clients, it’s vital to boost your real estate brand’s profile with some brand awareness strategies. As previously mentioned, the most important part of brand awareness is repetition; you need to get your name out there again and again, letting people hear it often so they start to associate your brand with quality real estate. Fortunately, the internet now exists and allows you to post digital ads that will repeatedly show up on the screens of your intended audience.
Another important part of your marketing plan that should not be ignored is social support. In the business of real estate, you’re dealing with people who are making huge decisions and spending enormous amounts of money. These sorts of decisions cannot be taken lightly, and to nudge your clients in the right direction and help to build some trust between you, social support can be invaluable. Again, digital technology offers the perfect means for you to utilize this technique; testimonial pages can be placed on your website, providing visitors with quotes from satisfied clients. You can also regularly update your online presence and reply to inquiries in a friendly manner, building your image as a respectable real estate company that treats its clients properly.
Lead generation is a vital part of marketing, but it’s important never to forget these other techniques to build your profile and boost your business.