The Time is Now: Let Data Take Center Stage

Timex

As each day passes, there’s a ton of new data entering your marketing ecosystem: Web registrations, trade shows lists, pay per click campaigns, events…and the list of sources keeps getting longer. While all of this marketing data can be an asset to your programs, it can also be a liability. Inaccurate or outdated data can cause unnecessary bottlenecks and weaken marketing effectiveness, leading to missed sales opportunities and higher customer turnover.

The best case scenario is that the contact information within your database is pristine; however, as we all know, data is often riddled with inaccuracies, inconsistencies and omissions. While collecting information is getting easier thanks to technology, the volume, variety and velocity of that data makes the management of that data increasingly difficult. After all, data has an established decay rate of about 2-3% per month.

As you reflect on Q1 2015 and gear up for Q2 execution, it’s time for a gut check. Ask yourself: did my marketing data work for or against me? If you answered the latter, then it’s time to you made marketing data management a priority. Proactive management ensures that your marketing records are complete, accurate and actionable so you can:

  • Improve Segmentation: Complete business contact records allow you more options for segmenting and executing on vertical-specific marketing campaigns based on industry, or horizontal campaigns based on common challenges for companies of a similar size.
  • Strengthen Content Personalization: In order to stay relevant to your buyers, you need to speak directly to their pain points, challenges and goals. Content personalization can grab the attention of your buyers, guide them in their buying journey and inspire them to take action. Without complete and accurate data on your prospects and customers, your risk communicating with generic or insincere messages and calls to action that fall far from the mark. Just as with segmentation, the more knowledge you have, the more relevant your content can be.
  • Accelerate Demand Generation: Now more than ever, marketers are directly responsible for filling the sales pipeline. Poor data quality prohibits marketers from identifying qualified leads quickly and prohibits sales from having well-informed, relevant dialogues with prospects. Through data enrichment, records are filled with missing details or incremental information like company revenue, employee count, social profile links and website URLs, helping accelerate the sales pipeline and allowing for more relevant dialogues once a lead has been passed.

This is the year! Your marketing data has to take center stage if you are going to hit the goals just placed in front of you. Your campaigns are only as strong as your data—so prioritize data management and make your hard-earned marketing data work better for you. To learn more about how you can maximize the return on your marketing data, click here.

You Need Best-In-Class Demand Generation, And Here’s How You Get it

Demand-Gen-Infographic

It’s no secret that today’s buyers get the majority, if not all, of their information online from various sources. In fact, buyers might be anywhere from two-thirds to 90 percent of the way through their buying journey before they even reach out to a company. So what does this all mean? It means that we as marketers must understand buyers’ needs and properly facilitate the decision process, instead of bombarding them with meaningless marketing fluff. But how? Two simple words: demand generation.

Demand generation—which depends on the combination of your marketing automation technology, the content you create for buyers in each stage of the buying cycle, and your marketing data—is like an engine powering your company’s message to the wide world of potential buyers. Your database serves as the fuel to drive that engine. And just as luxury cars run best on premium, higher-octane gasoline, so too does your marketing engine. The more complete, accurate and actionable your data is, the better your chances for success. However, as data decays at a rate of two percent or more per month, the records currently sitting in your database are probably outdated.

This is where marketing data management comes into play. In order to have best-in-class demand generation, you need to put focus on data quality and management. Proper data management ensures that your database is free from inaccurate or incomplete data that could be clogging your “engine.”  Consider this: According to the Aberdeen Group, companies with best-of-breed marketing data management incorporated into their demand generation engine require only 68 leads per customer acquisition.

Want better demand generation? Click here to explore how NetProspex’s marketing data services can help you. If you have questions, let’s chat in the comments below.

The Right Data Creates More Conversations Every Step of the Way

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Big Data is all the rage, and lets face it, everyone is on board with this revolution. However, it isn’t always about adding more fuel to the fire, you can’t just continuously throw logs in and hope that it ignites; it’s about incorporating a solid framework in order to sustain the blaze. As time continues and new technologies emerge, marketers are continuously faced with opportunities to improve their process and deliver better results through the buying cycle. But here the question emerges, how can this be done?

AG Salesworks, iLantern and NetProspex have come together to give you the winning combination to create the ultimate framework for maintaining your fire. It isn’t always about adding more data; it’s about understanding your data and using it to your benefit. In this webinar we will demonstrate best practices for increasing engagement during your buying cycle. Having a handle on data management, knowing how to use triggers to append clean, complete data, and ultimately using the right technology to arm your sales reps with pertinent information creates conversations that build lasting relationships and is vital to future success.

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Here’s how we see the full-circle process:

NetProspex is the smarter B2B data partner, helping marketing and sales organizations optimize their revenue impact through a suite of innovative data services. Thousands of B2B organizations rely on NetProspex to acquire targeted contacts, maintain and enhance their marketing data, and fuel high-performing sales prospecting efforts. At the core of NetProspex is an innovative crowd-sourced database, cleansed with proprietary CleneStepTM verification technology. NetProspex State of Marketing Benchmark Report shows that 50% of companies are currently working with unreliable data. At NetProspex we live and breathe data management, so that you don’t have to, and can help you to maximize inbound conversions, cleanse and enrich your data, as well as add verified net new contacts to fit your target profile. Data tends to be last on your list, however a recent report from Sirius Decisions shows a 66 percent increase in revenue from companies who embrace data best practices.

iLantern then comes in to help give that already clean and complete data more relevancy, and even more timeliness—trigger data appended to your existing data for even more precise lead scoring.  Having a handle on what is happening at the companies of your prospects and leads is key to starting conversations and building relationships.  You now know what territory, market, size, revenue, and a plethora of other important information, now you want to know what is happening at those companies – right now.  Providing all the data in one easy to access location, whether is be in your CRM, Marketing Automation or your own personal portal – having knowledge is more than half the battle, I think that’s what GI Joe used to say.

And finally, AG Salesworks provides the best teleprospecting solution to reach out and action to those contacts. The conversations aren’t cold calls anymore; they are relevant; they are timely; they will be well received.  Instead of saying, “I’m Joe and I want to tell you about Product X”, (that’s simply telemarketing and there is a difference {See Pete Gracey’s post in Boston Business Journal}) Using the right data can change the conversation to be a teleprospecting call: “I’m Joe, congrats on the big sales win you just had – your boss must be psyched! We might be able to make it easier for you to ensure more sales wins in the future” This is talking about them first, and who doesn’t want to hear good news about their achievements, and ways you can simplify their job.

The webinar intends to go into this in great detail. So don’t miss out! We hope to see you there!

Who: NetProspex, iLantern, AGSalesworks

What: The RIGHT Data Creates More Conversions Every Step of the Way

When: September 26, 2013 2:00PM EST

Where:  Free Online Webinar

Why: Because understanding all the possible ways you can grow your business with simple technologies makes good ole fashioned sense.  Furthermore, these technologies have proven results to grow your business.

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Register for this Webinar by clicking here.

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Answer These 3 Burning Questions About Your 2013 Marketing Plan

Questions

Before you finally close your email inbox for the last time in 2012 and break out the spiced egg nog, you’ve got to finish planning your B2B marketing strategies for 2013. No easy task!

We know that your to-do list is longer than your kids’ wish-list for Chrismahanukwanzakah, because we’re in the midst of planning as well. From our team to yours, here are 3 key questions to get ahead of before the new year — plus, FREE tools we’re using to figure them out.

1. How is your current database equipped to support your campaigns for 2013?

Business contact data is a tricky asset in your marketing toolkit. For effective marketing, you need the right records for the right people. Sounds simple, right? Think again. People change jobs constantly (over 47M last year, alone). SiriusDecisions reports that as much as 25% of a marketing database goes bad annually, and that each problematic record may end up costing your business up to $100 a year if not managed.

As if that’s not enough, with so many sources of contact records (trade shows, inbound leads from SEO, whitepaper registrations, and more) it’s difficult to manage WHO is in your database. One of the best holiday gifts you can give yourself is some insight – where does your database currently stand?

FREE TOOL #1 DATA HEALTHSCAN: This free online database assessment report, which we call the Data HealthScan, reports the quality and targeting patterns in any given .CSV file. In this new (in beta) tool, you can analyze 100k records in just 10 minutes, and it’s comprehensive enough to show you exactly which issues to address to make the most impact in 2013.

In less than the time it takes to find a parking spot at the mall, you can learn:

  • How is your email deliverability?
  • Which records are outside of your target market?
  • Do you have enough of the right contacts in key segments?
  • How many incomplete records are in your database?

2. How many new contacts do you need to fuel programs in 2013?

Got any webinars planned in 2013? How about eBooks? Whitepapers? Regional events? Phew. With so much marketing activity planned, don’t forget about filling up the tank of fuel that drives registrations, downloads, and attendees. After you’ve identified and removed bad data in your database, you’ll need to fill the gaps. You’ll also need to fill the TOP of the funnel with enough targeted prospect data to meet revenue goals at the BOTTOM. But how many contacts do you need? How many touches to convert prospects to a qualified lead?

Response rates for many email campaigns are in the single digits. And sometimes it takes 7-8 touches before a prospect will convert — this could include emails, phone calls from your business development team, or direct mail pieces.

FREE TOOL #2 FUNNEL CALCULATOR: With so many moving pieces, and varying conversion rates, we recommend the Demand Gen Funnel Calculator. This free tool helps you determine the amount of marketing activity you’ll need to meet revenue goals. To use, you’ll need your 2013 marketing generated revenue goal and average deal size — and we’ve even included industry-average conversion rates to help you get started.

3. How do all your programs align throughout the year? 

There’s a lot that goes on under the marketing umbrella in any given organization. Multiple simultaneous campaigns, prep work for upcoming deliverables, all while measuring and recapping completed projects. It’s what makes marketing an exciting but often stressful career, and all of us wish for just a couple more hours in each day to juggle all the balls up in the air.

Unfortunately, no tool is going to solve this problem. You’ll have to rely on your savvy, amazing self to get it all done. One strategy we have found useful to get the most out of our marketing is to ensure each activity is aligned. In other words, what’s happening in MarCom is tied back to a core messaging plan that echoes throughout our demand generation, social media, and event strategy. Planning activities in this way ensures consistency, but also lets us re-purpose content across multiple outlets. It’s a scalable strategy for our team, and one that hopefully proves effective for yours.

FREE TOOL #3 PLAN-O-GRAM: We made our planning template available for our clients to utilize, and it’s been enormously popular with nearly 900 downloads in a few weeks time. Use it to map out and align messaging across all your programs in the 1H and 2H of 2013. It’s also a great way to show other departments your fabulous work.

We hope you find these tools super handy and helpful as you finish up your strategy for 2013. Happy Holidays!

Why is incomplete data a fact of life in marketing automation?

broken_gear

By Dmitry Grenader, Director of Product Management, NetProspex

This article is in response to our new Data Enrichment App for Eloqua

What can you, modern marketers, learn from a data player like NetProspex? I mean, come on, you have already turned your lead generation into a battlefield-ready machine. You have tuned your forms perfectly for frictionless conversion.  You have convinced the rest of the exec team to invest in a kick-ass Marketing Automation software. The marketing factory is humming, leads are scored and routed, nurturing programs are in place.

The factory is humming.

Think of your demand generation as a factory for a moment.  The most basic element is a “lead” (or a contact). You attract, create, manage, cultivate, and refine them. You have them moved from conveyer belt to conveyer belt until the worthy ones are wrapped and shipped to sales for follow-up.  But often, what you know about each contact is limited – mainly by the need to keep forms short and by the necessity to keep the lead-gen entry barrier low. You certainly have the basics like name, email and company. Sometimes you have title and company size, but not always. Not having complete details seems to be one of those “facts of life” limitations for marketers.

There’s a better way.

I never understood why it had to be this way. At NetProspex, we believe in a world where you as a marketer have actionable data at your fingertips – firmographics, like industry, company revenue and headcount, as well as detailed contact information – available to enrich each record. This opens new vistas and possibilities for you in lead-scoring, routing, campaign targeting, and for various other higher-consciousness programs you have not thought of yet.

Think of this data augmentation as enrichment for your contact data. It’s available from premier B2B data services companies like ours, but here are a few aspects to consider, to help you know that you are getting the real thing.

1. Data quality: Data cleanliness is of paramount importance today.  Lists are a dime a dozen, and a ton of new-fangled data players exist with more of the same, low quality information. Look for a partner who has a documented, sophisticated, and believable process for record cleaning. (Okay okay, I’m plugging our CleneStepTM validation process. Marketers love it.)

2. Level of automation: The data augmentation you choose needs to natively work and integrate with your Marketing Automation System. It also needs to work in real-time. The good news is that marketing automation companies are taking a page from other SaaS players and have introduced marketplaces like the Eloqua AppCloud  and Marketo Launchpoint to deliver greater value through integrated partner applications. More resources are available than ever, and more tools are added every week

3. Control: This is critical! When designing workflows to add data to your campaigns, you should have full control over how the data is augmented, what is added or overwritten, and when. Ultimately, you want the ability to configure this process to fit your organization’s unique approach to marketing data.

4. Simplicity: If people start talking to you about “paradigm shifts”, and the need to “buy into the new vision” – run the other way.  Data enrichment needs to be simple.  It is a utility that knows its place, and should work in tandem with your lead scoring, followup, and other automated systems.  Data enrichment should not require you to reengineer your world.

5. Price: Everything in life comes at a price. Do make sure that you receive volume discounts, and the pricing package is tuned to your needs. Getting technical for a moment, we priced our Data Enrichment App by records matched – not by how many attempts are made to find a match. We believe marketers should not have to pay an arm and a leg for better, more actionable data.

I enjoy the chance to speak with modern marketers whenever possible. I want to hear about what lead data issues you face, your wish-list of B2B data services and tools, and how we can continue to empower marketers to get better results from their marketing data. I can be reached at dgrenader@netprospex.com or @dgrenader on Twitter.

Shameless plug: we worked really hard on the new Data Enrichment App for Eloqua! The app appends and normalizes data from completed forms on your website, or currently within your programs and campaigns. Check it out, and try it free for two months if you sign up before December 31st.

NetProspex Partners With Eloqua to Offer Data Enrichment Connector

NetProspex

New Eloqua AppCloud App Enhances Existing Contact Data and Form Registrations to Significantly Improve B2B Marketing Data Completeness and Effectiveness

WALTHAM, MA–(Nov 7, 2012) – NetProspex, the leading provider of B2B contact data services, today announced the launch of theNetProspex Data Enrichment Connector for Eloqua. This new app installs into the Eloqua environment to enrich contacts by appending and normalizing critical information about the contact and company. Marketers can now append data such as job title or industry in real-time behind a registration form, or add key information to existing contacts in Eloqua programs and campaigns.

The app enables Eloqua users to:

  • Segment and score leads faster
  • Reduce the number of fields on a registration form
  • Increase conversion rates
  • Raise the quality of their current marketing database

Given the variety of sources marketers rely on for collecting lead data, records often miss critical fields such as industry, company size, or job title. This incomplete data poses a problem to modern marketers, who rely on full and complete contact records for lead scoring, lead routing, and targeted messaging. As 88 percent of buyers have admitted to giving incorrect profile information on registration forms, marketers are struggling with inaccurate data. With a significant portion of B2B leads now coming through such forms, it is increasingly important for marketers to enrich profile information from their forms and enhance their existing marketing database.

The NetProspex Data Enrichment Connector for Eloqua matches incomplete records from an Eloqua database or form submission with NetProspex’s crowd-sourced, verified business contact database. While other offerings often match only by email address, this new tool offers Progressive Matching, searching first by email, and then by a combination of additional fields until a match is made. This greatly increases match rates for marketing clients.

Additional features include:

  • 20 minute set-up within the Eloqua environment
  • Normalization and categorization of data fields
  • Addition of firmographic and demographic information including job title, job level, industry, address, employee count, revenue, and more to help classify and score lead records

“The NetProspex Data Enrichment connector for Eloqua gives our lead scoring and segmentation a boost by adding key contact and company information to records in our Eloqua database, and in real-time to our form submissions,” said Ken Evans, director of demand generation at Demandware.

“A marketing database represents millions of dollars of our customer’s budget, as it is the result of all of their marketing activity. Our customers spend a lot of time and energy growing their contact databases, and just because data is incomplete or inaccurate doesn’t mean that those efforts have gone to waste,” said Gary Halliwell, CEO of NetProspex. “This new tool allows B2B Eloqua users to measurably enrich their data using industry-leading clean contact data from NetProspex in order to maximize the value they receive from their database.”

“Clean data is the clearly the foundation of modern marketing, yet only a small number of marketers can really classify their own data as accurate, relevant, and valid,” said Steve Woods, CTO of Eloqua. “Ensuring that data is clean and actionable should always be a top priority.”

Starter Trial Offer
Customers can enjoy a two-month free starter trial of the connector if they sign up at Eloqua Experience 2012. Attendees interested can see NetProspex at booth number 228.

About NetProspexNetProspex drives customer acquisition by partnering with B2B marketers to deliver targeted prospect lists, data cleansing, and profiling analytics that help to uncover data insight and optimize lead generation results. Voted Best Lead Generation Solution by the SIIA, NetProspex maintains a deep database of millions of crowd-sourced business contacts verified by CleneStep™ technology. Thousands of B2B organizations rely on NetProspex to acquire and maintain clean, accurate prospect information to fuel high-performing marketing campaigns. More information athttp://www.netprospex.com or on Twitter @NetProspex.

 

Ask-the-Experts: 5 Answers to B2B Content Marketing Questions

NetProspex

Last week NetProspex hosted a webinar revealing Content Marketing trends for technology marketers. Our panelists discussed the findings and shared their best advice. Here, we’ve answered 5 audience questions from that live event. To watch the on-demand recording, click here.

Our experts:

Writer & Consultant
Stephanie Tilton
Ten Ton Marketing

Strategist & Thought-leader
Samantha Stone
The Marketing Advisory Network

Practioner
John T. Frankot
Solution Publishing

1. Where does SEO fit into the content marketing equation?

Stephanie:
A. SEO and content marketing go hand in hand. It starts by understanding the language your ideal customer uses to describe his or her pain points, goals, along with the terms used to conduct searches during the research and decision-making process. This should come out when developing buyer personas. You then work those phrases/terms into content titles, abstracts, etc. to optimize for search.

Samantha:
A. I agree with Stephanie. SEO and content marketing are linked in important ways. In my experience starting a content creation project with SEO as the primary goal has the unintentional consequence of degrading the quality of insight provided. Rather, it is best to focus the content on the target audience, then optimize for search. If we understand our audience well, the SEO efforts should be a natural output of the writing process.
2. Can you comment on the notion of repurposing content across multiple formats? I’m keen to leverage content, and hit different audiences…BUT am scared about prospects feeling the material is redundant/repetitive if they happen to see it in multiple places. Thoughts?

Stephanie:
A. Samantha said it best during the webinar – prospects aren’t going to remember all the content that they consume so repetition never hurts. In fact, because prospects are likely consuming content from so many different companies, you need to make sure your message gets through and sticks, and that requires repetition. That said, it never hurts to slightly reword/recast the same information.

Samantha:
A. We should all be so lucky as our audience gets bored with our content because they remember it well! The truth is while we are familiar with everything that we produce, our audience reads very little of what has been published; and remembers even less. Some repetition is not only OK, it’s advisable. Of course, balance the repetition of messages by being creative with the format by which information is produced, along with varying the context by which it is provided.

John:
A. Frequency and consistency are important and beneficial. However, it is advisable to have enough content to cover the major perspectives with which a readers’ interest is coming from, or to tailored to particular industry or application. I would venture to say as long as it is good, relevant content a reader is not going to think negatively about seeing it broadly distributed.
3. In enterprise sales, do you really think Marketing knows better than a Sales person who a C-level exec consumes information?

Stephanie:
A. Marketing likely knows best what the audience is consuming in the earlier stages of the buying cycle and sales likely knows best what they’re consuming later on. But the best source is prospects and customers. Ask them what information they’re looking for at each stage of the buying cycle, along with their format preferences.

Samantha:
A. The best source of information consumption is our buyers. Both sales and marketing professionals have many opportunities to learn from them. Never be afraid to ask questions of potential buyers and clients alike.

John:
A. It comes down to who has the better data, which often is a result of asking good questions of your current clients and prospects. This type of intelligence gathering should be a collaborative effort between Marketing and Sales.

4. Given the #1 currency that we are fighting for is time, how does awesome content get you out of the spam folder or “delete any vendor e-mail immediately” problem?

Stephanie:
A. “Awesome” content stands out by being relevant, compelling, and timely. When people see useful information that’s applicable to what they’re trying to achieve, they’re open to receiving it. And when a vendor consistently delivers that type of information – instead of a product pitch time and again – its seen as a trusted source of information.

Samantha:
A. Building a reputation for providing compelling content will lead your target buyers to open more emails, but it is a mistake to think of your content strategy as your email strategy. Building a successful email campaign requires strong content offers, but it also requires careful consideration of subject line treatment, visual formats, timing and frequency. To maximize the value of content investments remember to distribute it across a wide range of vehicles, of which email is one of them.

John:
A. Our philosophy is trusted content sources are valued, sought after and approved so they don’t land in the SPAM folder. As we well know, prospects are bombarded with vendor efforts to connect. You really need to find a trusted entry point and be relevant in your content distribution, enough so it is more content pull verse a push.

5. What characteristics do a white paper must have? Size? A bunch of tips or a more technical perspective?

Stephanie:
A.In its 2011 B2B Technology Collateral Survey Report, Eccolo Media found that the majority of respondents preferred white papers between 4-8 pages. 86% of respondents to TechWeb’s Tech Marketing Best Practices Research Series on white papers said they want white papers under 10 pages, with 50% wanting papers under 5 pages.

Many folks feel gypped when a white paper just skims the surface of a topic. The paper should be as long as necessary to explore a topic in a meaningful way. If you have so much to say about a topic that you can produce 15 or 20 pages or more, create a series of white papers. Such an approach shows a respect for your readers’ time while also providing a terrific way to keep them engaged over an extended period as part of lead-nurturing efforts.

One common mistake is when companies produce ultra-short white papers that are nothing more than brochures in disguise. Keep in mind what stage of the buying process the paper is meant to serve. Early on, prospects are not looking for product details; they want to understand industry trends, best practices for solving their issues, what to look for in a solution, etc.

Key elements:

  • 4-8 pages
  • Executive Summary or Abstract
  • Headings/subheads
  • Bullets
  • Sidebars/call-outs/quotes
  • Graphics
  • Footnotes
  • Conclusion
  • Call to action

For more best practices, download my free eBook: 5 Steps to a White Paper that Pulls in the Perfect Prospect

John:
A. Agree with much of what Stephanie shared. In general, nobody is in need of another product brochure. You need to identify with a readers problem, help them explore, and guide them to potential solutions. The content we see resonate best are thought leadership style white papers (4-6 pages), case studies, third party solution studies and eBooks.

 

To watch the on-demand recording, click here.

 

NetProspex Launches TechProspex Contact Targeting Solution for Technology Marketers

TechProspex

New service provides data on prospects’ technology environments with 90 percent accuracy

Waltham, Mass. – September 12, 2012 NetProspex, the leading provider of B2B contact data services, today announced the launch of TechProspex, a premium technology intelligence service. This new solution allows B2B technology marketers to find contacts at companies using more than 1,200 selectable technologies with 90 percent accuracy.

As 67% of marketers only segment by geography, industry, and title1, there is an enormous opportunity to gain a competitive advantage with precise targeting criteria based on what technologies are used at target companies, down to the specific model or version. The TechProspex service allows marketers to build lists of contacts at companies using complimentary technology or that of the competition. Customers can also append technology insights to accounts in their current database.

 

While other technology install data relies on surveys and statistical modeling to estimate what platforms a prospect might be using, TechProspex harnesses the power of Big Data compiled from hundreds of millions of public and proprietary datasets to achieve an unprecedented level of accuracy and coverage for existing installed technology, validated by phone. Only TechProspex can pair this information with the NetProspex database, offering marketers access to hundreds of thousands of companies and millions of potential B2B influencers and buyers. This contact data is then verified by NetProspex’s proprietary CleneStepTM contact verification process.

“Not only is NetProspex’s data high-quality, but it allows our team to drill down to a level of detail on technology use that helps improve our program results,” said Charlene Williams, Director of Marketing at Netuitive.

“TechProspex enables marketers to craft a message highly relevant to specific technology environments, increasingcampaign conversion and meeting lead generation goals,” said Gary Halliwell, CEO of NetProspex. “This is possible through a new level of access to the installed platforms that their prospects are using, coupled with industry-leading clean contact data from NetProspex’s contact database.”

Marketers that are targeting enterprises for high-consideration technology purchases know that, on average, no one decision maker has more than 30 percent of the total power through the purchase process2. Reaching multiple contacts per account is vital to the success of a campaign. The TechProspex solution provides a wide range of job functions and levels within companies, so customers are able to reach all appropriate influencers. Traditional providers are limited in coverage per company.

Technology marketers can request counts for specific technologies, and learn more about TechProspex here.

1 B2B Magazine Survey, 2012

2 Forrester Tech Marketing Navigator

About NetProspex

NetProspex drives customer acquisition by partnering with B2B marketers to deliver targeted prospect lists, data cleansing, and profiling analytics that help to uncover data insight and optimize lead generation results. Voted Best Lead Generation Solution by the SIIA, NetProspex maintains a deep database of millions of crowd-sourced business contacts verified by CleneStep™ technology. Thousands of B2B organizations rely on NetProspex to acquire and maintain clean, accurate prospect information to fuel high-performing marketing campaigns. More information at www.netprospex.com or on Twitter @NetProspex.

 

How to use a marketing funnel calculator.

Demand Creation Waterfall

We’ve developed this handy marketing funnel calculator to help marketer’s figure out how much activity is needed at the top of the funnel to meet revenue goals.

So why use a metrics funnel?

Today, marketers benefit from marketing and sales automation tools that capture data about what is happening with a lead over its lifetime.  And, when used correctly, this information gives marketers a leg up when it comes to planning.  Studying the performance of your leads as they go through their buying journey allows you to build a predictive model that can determine how many leads will turn into customers.  There are many names for the process of measuring lead conversion throughout the sales cycle. Regardless, the more that you study the metrics in your marketing funnel, the more you will understand which levers to pull to improve program performance.

How does the funnel work?

A funnel, is only as good as the data behind it, so be sure to do your homework ahead of time. Most companies have put considerable time and effort into determining how to qualify each opportunity stage a buyer has reached and howto show that in their forecast. Due to the challenge associated with this, don’t feel bad if your sales team and marketing team haven’t agreed on what it takes to become a lead AND how to mark the proper lead stages before they get to the opportunity stage. Obtaining alignment with sales as to what the definitions are for an MQL, SAL and SQL are critical to your joint success.

Companies with best-in-class processes vs. companies with average processes achieved 25% or greater improvement in Waterfall Conversion Rates 

– SiriusDecisions, Field Marketing 2.0: The Heart of Growing Conversion Rates

The funnel uses conversion numbers between lead stages to help determine how much you must put in the top of the funnel to meet a certain goal at the bottom or, it can do the opposite – track how much you will get out of the bottom if you put a certain volume in at the top.  Either way, there is a lot to be learned from tracking how these leads convert from one stage to the next. Define the stages for yourself using the guidelines below:

  • Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL). A contact who has engaged with your marketing efforts enough to meet your company’s definition as ready to be passed from marketing to sales
  • Sales Accepted Lead (SAL). An MQL that has been determined by a member of the sales team (likely an inside sales rep) to be accepted and worth exploration by a sales person.  Companies use different methods to determine an SAL, the BANT method is a popular one.
  • Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). A lead that has been explored by a salesperson and determined to be qualified for their pursuit.  This is often considered to be the beginning of the sales process.

Make sure that you set up a way to track these conversions within your marketing and sales automation tool so that it is applied consistently and has a time/date stamp to capture each conversion. You’ll be able to use your own conversion numbers within the funnel to predict outcomes of your marketing programs.  And, you will be stunned at how useful the information is!!!

Where to start?

Don’t have historical conversion data?  You have to start somewhere, how about beginning with an educated guess. Turn to industry thought leaders like SiriusDecisions, MarketingProfs, Marketing Sherpa, or your favorite marketing experts to develop a baseline using their program averages or best practice numbers. The first time you build a funnel it is scary (especially when you’re using someone else’s conversion data), but remember, everyone has to start somewhere.  Put a stake in the ground!

As the year progresses, you should compare your actual data to your starting funnel.  Build a funnel to support your annual plan, but also make stand alone versions for each of your major campaigns.   By measuring programs in flight alongside how you are doing against your annual goal, you will be able to make course corrections quickly to ensure your overall success.

Pathway to success: 

Now you are able to step up to the table and provide an actual forecast – based in real numbers – about the impact that you can have on your company’s bottom line. Using the funnel tool you have a method to forecast your contribution and also manage your performance against it. Good luck!

Trends in data analysis offer opportunities, challenges

NetProspex in BtoB magazine
July 23, 2012 – 12:01 pm EDT

This month’s Business Mailers’ Co-op and Interactive Marketing Conference, hosted by database marketing company MeritDirect in White Plains, N.Y., was rife with discussions about measuring data performance, integrating data, data licensing, and just about everything pertaining to this year’s topic, Big Data.

“Why is it so difficult to understand what information to use, how to extract the most value from it and how to measure it?” said Charles Stryker, CEO of data consultancy The Venture Development Center, Mount Laurel, N.J. “Companies are using less than one-tenth of one percent of the data they could be using. The opportunity to ingest the appropriate data you’re not ingesting is monumental.”

One trend promising to extract more value from data is data licensing, whereby marketers purchase lists for extended use over time, instead of renting them for one-time use only.

“Data licensing is a dramatic departure from how to sell and use data,” said Chris Blohm, senior VP-data and media services with MeritDirect. With data licensing, the lists are sent directly to the marketer (instead of a bonded mail house) for use in any way, and as often, as that marketer sees fit. Typically, the license runs for one year.

Blohm said the trend is being driven by the rise of online data compilers such as Salesforce.com Inc.’s Data.com (formerly Jigsaw), Database101, NetProspex and ZoomInfo, with transactional websites that allow marketers to assemble and buy lists from compiled and crowd-sourced techniques.

A one-year list license allows marketers to conduct multiple campaigns that delve deeper into companies; integrate the purchased data across various parts of the business, including both sales and marketing; better measure results and compare them to the performance of in-house lists; and augment partial in-house records.

“Because of this type of buying method, marketers have changed the way they think about and acquire data,” Blohm said.

Marketers eager for better data insights aren’t stopping there.

According to Stryker, increasingly useful sources of data collection include data from search and social media, as well as from Web crawling and crowd-sourcing.

Search data can be used to identify prospect companies whose employees are searching for particular products, offering an early warning sign of pending purchases, Stryker said. An analysis of social media, meanwhile, helps verify the accuracy of database contacts, and identifies what people like and don’t like.

Web crawling and crowd sourcing offer distinct ways to identify Web users and their professed needs. And when these four data sources are cross-matched, even more accurate, insightful information can be made available, he said.

However, Stryker acknowledged that “the weak link today is finding people with the skill at looking at billions of data points and extracting insights from them.”

Bruce Biegel, senior managing director at marketing consultancy Winterberry Group, cited another challenge facing marketers: integrating “known” data from in-house lists with unknown or vague information offered by website visitor behavior.

“One of the most interesting cases is recognizing somebody when they come to your site, and giving them the right offer,” Biegel said. “When 80% of your audience is completely anonymous, how do you treat them?

“If I can organize this data, stop it from being so messy and segment it, I can then feed it into a decision engine to make the right offers to the right people at the right time,” he said.

Biegel urged marketers to create a “registration ethos” at their companies, to build their email databases for purposes beyond email campaigns.

“The key to syncing, matching and recognition is the email address,” said Biegel, noting email’s relationship to browser identity. “The more you can do to get people to subscribe, register or declare with their email addresses, the bigger pool you’ll have available for matching that information with the known contacts in your CRM database.”

 Source: http://www.btobonline.com/article/20120723/DIRECT0101/307239997/trends-in-data-analysis-offer-opportunities-challenges