We’re data nerds by birth. We love numbers. And as marketers we love that we get to use numbers and data in our jobs every day. But data can be intimidating.
If you’ve seen the 2017 MarTech Landscape infographic it’s enough to make you want to throw your hands up and walk away. The number of marketing technology platforms has exploded in the last five years growing from 150 in 2011 to over 3,500 in 2016.
Trying to figure out the right combination of systems and data sets for your organization is daunting. But more often, that’s the easy part. We’ve seen numerous clients who have implemented all the latest and greatest marketing and sales technology and are no better off because they are now drowning in data. Or the data is so disparate they don’t have access to the right information. And because of that, organizations lose insight into the progress of performance against goals.
In an industry flooded with data, marketers often struggle with what should “count” and where time and dollars are best spent when it comes to analytics.
A Place to Start
If you find yourself with too much data, or worse — the wrong data — let us offer you a place to start.
Forget web analytics, email click-thru rates, media impressions, social media likes, etc. We know – heresy, you say! All these are important in their own context. But in the grand scheme of things, if we had to pick only one data set to focus on it would be the contact list.
In B2B marketing, focus is key: hitting the right prospects with the right message at the right time. And in order to do that you have to first know who your prospects are, and second, you must be able to reach them!
We place a lot of emphasis on this at Red House. Before we launch any program, our Data, Analytics and Automation department runs a comprehensive analysis on the contact list. This helps us answer questions like:
- What types of organizations are included?
- What personas/roles are represented?
- Do we have valid contact information for the contacts we want to reach?
These may seem basic, but they help us answer the most important question: can we realistically meet our campaign goals with this list?
Foundational list analysis is also helpful when evaluating the campaign results. By comparing the leads generated with the list of contacts, we can tell just how effective our strategies were, the relevance of our messages, and how we can optimize outreach to the list in the future.