From Tamara’s Desk: 5 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Database

B2B Spring Cleaning

Tamara Graves is our Senior Director of Demand Generation here at NetProspex, driving pipeline activity and opportuntiy creation for our company, but more importantly, helping our entire team understand the day-to-day needs and problems of our clients working in B2B demand generation.

She recently contributed to a post on Silverpop’s blog by Ellen Valentine:

How’s your spring cleaning going this year? If you’re like me, you’ve been putting it off until the last minute. The clock is ticking as we say hello to Summer, so plunge into that messy closet, see what’s hiding under the bed and dare to reach back to the deepest corners of the fridge.

Many marketers have allowed their databases to grow a little unruly, letting unknown entities lurk in the depths. Fortunately, there’s still time to whip your data into shape. Follow these five steps to get your data spic and span, enabling you to connect with customers and prospects more strongly and ultimately drive revenue:

1) Assess the (messy) situation. Before diving into your data, take a look and see what you have. Are there any records or pieces of records in your database that you weren’t aware of? Email addresses that belong to competitors or are clearly fictitious (Mickey Mouse)? Records that don’t have complete sets, or belong to people who aren’t the right buyers for your product? Get a feel for what needs to be scrubbed clean or tossed out with the trash.

2) Build piles and sort through them. Think of your data as a closet you’re cleaning out—you need to sort your data assets into a few different piles, then work your way through each one. To help simplify the process, consider adding a field for “buyer persona” and writing a query to sort your database and capture who your buyers are.

Also, start thinking about what you want to do with your respective piles. Do you want to keep the “non-buyers” group in the messaging mix because they’ve shown interest? What about people who seem to fit the buyer profile but just aren’t responding? You’ll want to get rid of some data sets, archive some until future notice, and try a different tactic right away on others. And remember that you don’t have to go it alone—sometimes third parties can help with this task.

Don’t limit your analysis to inactives. If there are customers who have just bought once, what can you do to get them to buy again? For those who have bought from you multiple times, perhaps an upsell campaign would be productive.

3) Fill in empty spaces. As you’re cleaning the closet, you may realize sections of your wardrobe are pretty empty. Likewise, you may notice big gaps in your data. If you don’t have enough data to do segmentation, you’ll have to think about how to remedy this situation. Maybe you’ll need to append data, or perhaps you’ll want to develop an email campaign or promotion geared toward encouraging contacts to provide additional information.

4) Learn from the experience. Just as you might discover you need to reassess your pantry layout because you’re using some items more than expected and others less (sorry, Mr. Pasta Maker), you’re bound to learn some unexpected things as you’re sifting through your data. For example, maybe there’s somebody that’s buying from you that you didn’t think would be in your wheelhouse. Use the occasion to study your contacts and see if there’s anything you can to do to turn the dial on either side—both re-engaging inactives and turning active customers into even bigger fans.

5) Don’t delay—get started today. Whether you’re jolting inactives from their slumber, trying to get one-time buyers to buy again, or looking to build loyalty among your best customers, think how you can take them to the next level of engagement. Ideas might include:

  • Reaching out to them via a different channel (e.g. phone or print)
  • Offering a Snooze option
  • Asking them to update their preferences or tell you more about themselves via a survey
  • Inviting them to like you on Facebook, follow you on Twitter or add you on LinkedIn
  • Creating emails promoting items that fit with customers’ previous purchases
  • Promoting new thought capital, changes to your website or cool giveaways

So what are you waiting for? Clear the cobwebs out of your database and start engaging your prospects and customers today. You might be able to streamline and eliminate a bunch of inactive, inaccurate and incomplete records. You also just might find some (new) loyal fans, followers and, better yet, qualified leads.

Download the Data Quality Management Guide

Read the original post on Silverpop’s blog.

What NOT to do if you’re a B2B technology marketer.

Business Oops

If you’re a marketer for a technology company, chances are you’re fighting for the attention of professionals that are exposed to plenty of messaging from competitors.

Read on for 5 important things NOT to do, listed in reverse order of importance. Take heed; unless, of course, meeting your goals is not important to you.

Did you miss  5 B2B Technology Marketing Tips?

Don’t…

1 …skip the persona building exercise.
It would be great if your customer came to work today and said “I don’t have any problems. I think I’ll read a bunch of marketing materials to figure out how I should spend my day.” The reality is: your customers have real, day-to-day needs, and as a marketer it’s your job to understand these needs, and help them see why and how your product/service/or solution can help make their lives easier.

2 …overlook your client’s technology environment
Understanding your persona’s technology environment can be an important predictor of a company’s willingness to adopt your solution. If your company provides a cloud-based product, knowing a company has adopted other cloud-based technologies tells you precisely how to message to them. Also, use technology-install data to identify companies using your competition, and don’t be afraid to message aggressively. Targeted messaging to companies with competitive installs packs a 1,2 punch because it helps increase your market share while decreasing that of the competition.

3 … engage with only the final decision maker
Have you noticed? The length of the B2B tech buying cycle has increased more than 20% in just three years. Why? CIO’s readily admit that their own companies are to blame for most of the waiting period – 60.8% of the delay is due to their own buying process complexity 1 .  The truth is, more people are now involved in each decision. Failing to engage all of them with your content means missing opportunities to align them around your product, and build internal champions. Increase your opportunity to make a sale by engaging enough of the influencers at your target organizations. (Yes, this means you’ve got to build more content geared to their needs as well. Sorry.)

4 … ignore how the customer wants to buy
IT executives have consistently told IDC that they’d like their buying cycle to be shorter. Three months feels about right to them – which is 40% less than what they experience currently1. About 36% of the delay, according to IT leaders, is caused by poor marketing and sales processes on the part of their vendors1. It’s time to figure out the sell cycle of your clients, because marketers are getting part of the blame.

5 … send product-feature email blasts.
‘Nuff said. Yikes.

1 IDC’s 2012 Buyer Experience study.

FURTHER READING:

Click here to download 5 B2B Technology Marketing Tips

Looking for technology-install data? Click here to learn more about TechProspex: find contacts at companies using over 800 specific technologies.

 

 

NetProspex and AG Salesworks Announce Partnership to Drive High Quality Leads for B2B Organizations

AG Pipeline Connect

New England-Based Companies Launch Joint Solution Guaranteeing Fully Qualified Sales Opportunities

NetProspex, leading B2B data services provider, today announced a partnership with AG Salesworks, an expert in developing highly qualified sales opportunities for B2B technology firms. The new joint solution, AG Pipeline Connect, delivers a critical need for B2B organizations: high quality, targeted leads that convert into profitable customers. Leveraging NetProspex’s verified contact data services, AG Salesworks will deliver full service marketing and sales campaigns that guarantee fully qualified sales leads.

As data from marketing programs and sales efforts often exist in disparate locations, B2B companies can lose visibility into subtle changes in their target market. With 25 percent of the workforce changing each year, a business contact database is continually degrading in quality. To position each client for success, the joint solution begins with a comprehensive database overhaul. NetProspex first determines a client’s ideal buyer profile, ensuring a prospect database is properly targeted towards the correct decision makers. Next, the company delivers a quality cleanse based on their proprietary CleneStep™ methodology, identifying incorrect contact information, appending missing fields, enhancing records with key demographic or firmographic details and adding net-new contacts to ensure sufficient database coverage.

Once this process is complete, AG Salesworks applies a proprietary and proven methodology to develop qualified sales opportunities from this data. This process includes campaign messaging, followed by outbound email marketing and teleprospecting. Real-time campaign analytics are delivered in detail, along with closed loop feedback on all leads passed to clearly show return on investment. With this model, the NetProspex and AG Salesworks solution demonstrates clear return on investment, with a 20X guarantee in stage-1 pipeline.

“This solution has allowed us to forecast with far more confidence,” stated Joe Federbush, vice president of Sales and Marketing at ESI. “With 87% of the leads generated by AG progressing to next steps, we are seeing an excellent return without the costs and challenges of having this in house.”

NetProspex President, Michael C. Bird, says, “Properly-targeted contact and company information is at the core of every successful lead generation program. By pairing NetProspex data with the powerful opportunity-development of AG Salesworks, this is a combination that will create the pipeline B2B technology organizations need to reach their goals.”

The joint solution is immediately available to B2B technology organizations. For more information, interested parties may visit http://www.agsalesworks.com/services/ag-pipeline-connect/.

View release on Marketwire.

 

 

Quick stat: 48 million people (37% of the workforce) changed jobs in 2011

quit-job

In 2011, 48,242,000 people changed jobs. This includes turnovers including layoffs and discharges, quits, and other separations.

  • Layoffs and discharges: 20,718,000
  • Quits: 23,578,000
  • Other separations: 3,943,000

This is out of 131,800,000 total workers, meaning 36.73% of the total working population changed jobs in 2011.

This information speaks to an inherent problem in B2B lead generation: contact data quality. With people constantly changing jobs, marketers must stay on top of data hygiene best practices, and when appropriate employ contact data cleansing solutions.

Source: Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) from the US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics http://www.bls.gov/data/

From Tamara’s Desk: What’s Working in Demand Generation?

Office Woman

Tamara Graves is our Senior Director of Demand Generation here at NetProspex, driving pipeline activity and opportuntiy creation for our company, but more importantly, helping our entire team understand the day-to-day needs and problems of our clients working in B2B demand generation.

She recently contributed advice to DemandGen Report’s “What’s Working in Demand Generation” about the “secret sauce that helped leading B2B organizations fuel efficiency and growth” in 2011.

Here’s what’s working, from Tam’s POV:

  1. Lead Nurturing
    NetProspex has completely redesigned its multi-touch drip campaigns, with full nurture programs slated for 2012. Experts indicate that content is king when it comes to effective nurturing. By providing relevant, timely content, marketers can demonstrate the value proposition of their solutions and services more efficiently.
  2. Combining Inbound + Outbound
    We are utilizing landing pages through HubSpot to expand inbound efforts in conjunction with lead generation, testing integrations between its solutions and marketing automation tools.
  3. Data Management
    Our clients are focused on fixing and ensuring the quality and cleanliness of their data- and so are we. “Continual cleansing and appending of data is planned for 2012,” according to Tamara. “Considerable effort was put into finely segmenting the target to the right message, using analytics of our prospect and customer data.”

Read the full article on DemandGen Report.

 

 

 

The Winter Release of NetProspex’s B2B Contact Tools

NetProspex Winter Release

It’s no secret at NetProspex that we have really great clients. They shared ideas and suggestions that would help create better prospect lists for demand generation, and, well, we listened. In this release, we’ve made suppression files easier to manage, launched an alert system for net-new contacts in a target market, built a dashboard for easy search management, and updated contact trading.

The Winter ’11 release is so cool, it’s hot.


 

 

New Contact Alerts

  • Daily, weekly, or monthly alerts when new contacts are available in your target audience
  • Instant access to your best new prospects

Suppression File Tools

  • Store files securely in the cloud, and keep them out of searches when necessary
  • Exclude entire domains or individual contacts

Dashboard

  • Leverage your new “home base” for list-building or prospecting
  • Access recent and saved searches, credit balance, folders, and trades

Contact Trading Updates

  • Trade contacts faster and easier than ever before
  • Learn more about your traded contacts
  • Keep track of past trades and their quality score

Read the full release notes here. 

 

B2B Social Media Examples (From SocialMediaPlus 2011)

Mike Bird and Ben Grossman

Click here to view our Prezi about B2B Social Media in today’s SocialMediaSummit, where Michael Bird (NetProspex Chief Revenue Officer) and Ben Grossman (Digital Strategist) revealed:

  1. The State of B2B Social Media
  2. Examples of B2B Companies Embracing Social Media
  3. Actionable tips to get started with Social Media

To download the NetProspex Social Report, visit http://www.netprospex.com/np/social

See Gary talk Crowdsourcing at Data Content 2011

Gary Halliwell NetProspex

“User-generated content occurs in many forms across the internet from Facebook to Twitter. In business media, this content is often actionable intelligence and the need for accuracy is imperative. Incenting users to contribute accurate content is one thing. Deterring free-riders who put in junk to access the information commons is another. Some of the earliest models in the user-generated space like Linux and Wikipedia are user-generated but central authority maintained and provide a great model for further business media applications that deliver new value.”

See Gary on Day 2 of DataContent 2011 

 

 

Session information:

Friday, November 4th, 2011

8:00 – 9:00

Join the Crowd Breakfast“Crowd Sourcing” is generally thought of as a means of creating user-generated content like Wikipedia. But via the Amazon Mechanical Turk, it can be harnessed to create and append traditional directory content at dramatically lower cost and blazingly fast turnaround. Join us to see the Turk in action and find out how you can manage Amazon’s massive freelance network to produce quality output and even integrate crowd sourcing into the business model of new information services.

Matt Manning, President, Information Evolution [moderator]Ken Anderson, Co-Founder Marketing Solutions, Ltd.Gary Halliwell, Founder & CEO, NetProspexMax Yankelevich, Chief Architect, CrowdControl Software

 

100 Million Contacts!

NetProspex 100 Million Contacts

We’ve officially hit the 100 million mark for the number of contacts traded to the NetProspex db!

Read the full release.

“B2B companies share a common need to create demand today, this month, this quarter,” said Gary Halliwell, CEO of NetProspex.

“This milestone recognizes the success of crowd-sourcing as a way for companies to turn contacts they have into prospects they need. Gaining access to all potential buyers in their audience has accelerated the sales process of our clients, and is a great example of crowd sourcing in the fast-growing data cloud.”

Clients using the NetProspex contact trading platform use the service to pool contacts gathered (i.e. at a trade show) and download carefully targeted new prospects.

“The trading community at NetProspex has been an integral tool for our sales and marketing efforts,” said Tim Doscher, CTO of Enteracloud.”What sets NetProspex apart is the information is consistently higher quality than other contact record providers. Their accurate data and ease of accessibility has been our secret weapon for direct access to decision makers.”

According to Dave Kalstrom, founder of Outbound Excellence,”NetProspex’s trading feature is a zero-cost way to grow prospect databases for clients.”

Additionally, Michael Turi, President of Health Care Reach commented, “I continually use NetProspex as the trading user-interface is easy to use, I can find targeted emails for contacts, and the support team is great.”

The Power of WOM and Ice Cream!

Ice Cream

Alice Farmiloe

“We will trade data for scoops,” cried NetProspex employees last week before receiving an exciting summer treat when the Ben & Jerry’s truck stopped by our office in Waltham on their summer tour.

They dished out bountiful scoops to the entire workforce of their new flavor ‘Americone Dream.’ It all started with our data specialist Erin, who began spreading the word that if NetProspex employees tweeted enough we could get a visit from the Ben & Jerry’s Scoop truck on its Summer 2011 East coast Tour. This is the second year running for the Ben&Jerry’s scoop truck.

The word soon spread, as the NetProspex team began tweeting furiously in response to “Want free ice cream? Tweet us?”

Their Scoop Truck Tour 2011 visited these lucky cities: San Fran, Miami, New York, LA and BOSTON! The truck had some pre-assigned stops on its route but for the majority of destinations they relied on socially savvy fans to lure the truck over to their offices with a multitude of tweets @BenJerrysTruck with the hashtag #OMGFreeBenJerrys.

NetProspex did exactly this as soon as the Ben & Jerry’s truck announced on Twitter that it would be visiting Waltham. Here are some snippets of the Twitter conversation before and after the truck’s visit:

WOM1


WOM3 WOM4

 

This was a perfect example of Ben & Jerry’s using social media to provide value and engage their audience on social media. Although we’re a B2B company, and Ben and Jerry’s is a B2C example, lessons can be taken away for starting a conversation around a brand that spreads naturally within communities.

It’s the same concept as promoting a valuable piece of content – like a webinar – so members of your target audience are compelled to share the message within their social connections.

For Ben & Jerry’s, they were able to promote a new flavor of their ice cream through word of mouth. The way they did it was so entertaining and fun AND with the incentive of free ice cream that it got people talking and more importantly TWEETING!

Mutual exposure was gained for the Ben & Jerry’s brand and the companies asking for a visit. In the age of social media it is increasingly important for brands to reach their consumers via non-traditional means of advertising. Brands have to really engage with their consumers and generate positive WOM as peer reviews and opinions are all the more prevalent and trusted.

Ben & Jerry’s did this in a simple and fun way via the medium of Twitter and an ice cream truck, and really demonstrated the true power of simply starting a conversation. Now where’s that Guiness truck…

WOM5

The NetProspex Team