CMOs must optimize the customer experience for prospects and current customers. Customers are demanding improved communication, more control and freedom to become educated on topics of interest at their own pace. Technology, creativity, and data are the three pillars CMOs rely on as they take the next steps in the digital revolution. Let’s talk about data today.
Harnessing the features and functions made possible by technology, organizations are getting creative in how they better interact with their customers. Marketing, sales, and customer service are just a few of the functions that are swept up in this wave of change. Clean, standardized data is pivotal to the success of an optimized customer engagement. If the data is dirty, the customer experience is lackluster. At the same time, internal operations struggle to get through the slug of poor or bad information which leads to inefficiencies as well as non-engagement. Businesses consume and manage many different types of data as customers engage: lead data, web traffic analytics, intent data, digital body language and purchasing history to name a few. While some of the data is manually created, much is created by the actions taken by the customer. When the data is clean, communications are crisp, concise, and personalized for the customer, serving them information that can provide additional information to enable better decision making.
Accurate segmented data based on persona, buying cycle, and previous engagement will ensure the right message and content is delivered at the right time. The result: pipeline leakage is mitigated. Engaged customers and leads travel smoothly through the sales funnel with greater predictability. While processes and technology can improve lead flow, without clean data, even the best processes and technology will produce weak and inferior results.
Lead scoring programs systemically send sales ready leads (SRLs) to the sales organization. Completely reliant on clean, complete, and accurate data, lead scoring detects when a lead is ready to buy. This smooth transition to sales and personalized customer experience positions the lead for conversion faster to a customer.
Metrics are critical to optimizing marketing performance and improving the customer experience. Clean, standardized data makes it is easier to interrogate the information at a campaign, program, and company level. Analyzing the data uncovers issues and opportunities for improved engagement.
“More importantly”, says Scott Vaughan, CMO of Integrate, “clean, standardized data frees up marketing’s time and resources needed for more creative initiatives. And that means improved revenue and an optimized customer experience.”
To optimize your data and its impact, data cleanliness needs to be managed proactively. Here are four recommendations for making sure your customer data is accurate:
- Lead Freshness. About 12% of a marketing database changes each year. Fresh (new) data is more accurate.
- Data Completeness.Data completeness is the inclusion of required fields as well as the most up-to-date, accurate firmographic and demographic data. The cleaner the data, the more meaningful and personal follow-up interactions.
- Standardized Format. Structured data improves segmenting. It is key to lead scoring and performance analysis.
- Un-Siloed Data Stores. A single point for all customer information ensures consistent communication. When customer information is fragmented between operating units the customer is the one to experience the inconsistencies first.
Data is the digital differentiator and will make or brake the prospect or customer experience. The customer experience and revenue growth are heavily intertwined so let’s start our marketing planning with a data first model.