Be sure data providers know your needs

The marketing issues I hear never seem to change. People ask me, “We don’t have enough qualified leads to hit our numbers.  How do we get more?” Or, they want to know, “How do we get our e-mail click-through rates and phone response rates up? Our ROI is too low.”

This is the age-old conundrum of volume vs. efficiency.  Part of the problem is parts of the industry are not aligned with the way effective marketers operate.  Marketers do the work to analyze who the optimum target audience is based on engagement, conversion and lifetime value. However, when you go out to reach them, you have to wrestle with limited targetable parameters, overall data reliability, and high purchase minimums.

If you are renting lists, you may not realize that most data providers rent ISP email addresses (@yahoo, @hotmail, etc.), which are known to perform poorly in business-to-business campaigns. Be sure to work with your provider or team to establish some sort of “accuracy policy” in advance of any campaign and specify only business email addresses, and stay away from data sources that charge extra fees for better segmenting or targeting your audience, such as title, industry, geography and size of company. Their business model should be aligned with your goals — higher response rates and ultimately revenue, not selling you more data.

Importantly, you need to be able to integrate that response data into your analytics and CRM systems to understand if your target audience, the who, is actually performing the way you expect, and who the next available target audience is. Then you can use that to initiate your next campaign, getting both greater volume and improved ROI.  

Marketers and the industry that supports them need to break out of linear marketing funnel thinking that traps them between volume and efficiency. Rather, approach marketing as an ongoing cycle of targeting, measuring and learning.

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