Your 10-step guide to better B2B data management

How you can improve marketing results through better-managed data

What is data management?

B2B marketing data management involves the collection, organisation, and analysis of data specifically related to business-to-business (B2B) marketing efforts.

In the B2B context, companies market their products or services to other businesses rather than individual consumers. Effective data management is critical for B2B marketers to understand their target audience, tailor marketing strategies, and drive successful business relationships.

Why is data management important?

Effective B2B data management allows organisations to understand their target customer base and reach a maximum number of likely buyers. It allows for tailor-made outreach campaigns to be delivered to the ideal recipients.

It can also improve existing customer relations by targeted outreach to reduce churn and improve the customer lifecycle. Well-managed data is the foundation of effective and efficient marketing campaigns.

Our step-by-step guide for B2B data management:

Step 1: Define data management goals

business deal

Identify objectives: Determine what you want to achieve with your B2B data. It could be improving marketing engagement, converting sales, or enhancing customer experience.

Set key performance indicators (KPIs): Establish measurable goals such as ideal field heading population or size of target universe represented by your data. This can also extend to how you use your data, such as email deliverability rates.

Step 2: Data collection

Identify sources: Determine where your B2B data is coming from; CRM systems, researched data lists, customer interactions, etc.

Implement data collection methods: Use tools like web forms, surveys, APIs, or automated data extraction to gather information. You should also consider building a large, bespoke marketing data list of high-quality, accurate contacts.

Ensure data accuracy: Regularly validate and clean incoming data to minimise errors and duplicates. A typical B2B dataset depreciates by around 20-30% per year as contacts leave organisations or retire.

Step 3: Data storage and organisation

organising data

Choose a centralised system: Opt for a database or data warehouse to store information securely. Cloud-based solutions like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, or Azure are popular choices. You should also consider a centralised data repository or a CRM which can be designed to your precise needs.

Data segmentation: Organise data into categories based on attributes like industry, company size, location, job functions and contact seniority for easier retrieval and personalised marketing campaigns.

Step 4: Data security and compliance

Implement security measures: Use encryption, access controls, and regular audits to protect sensitive information.

Compliance with regulations: Handle data according to regulations and ensure adherence to data privacy laws (like GDPR and CCPA) by obtaining necessary permissions. If you are purchasing lists or having them specially built, ensure the provider also guarantees the same compliance.

Step 5: Data maintenance and quality assurance

Regular data cleansing: Schedule routine checks to remove outdated, duplicate, or irrelevant information. This should be at least once a year, but every 6 months is ideal to guarantee the highest deliverability rates.

Quality checks: Establish protocols to verify the accuracy and completeness of data periodically. This is crucial when multiple users are importing and exporting data. It can quickly become riddled with gaps or corrupted without a strong data governance plan.

Step 6: Data analysis and usage

data management

Data analysis tools: Use analytics platforms or software to derive insights, trends, and patterns from your B2B data. Well-categorised and accurate data is the secret weapon to running more efficient and rewarding campaigns.

Use data for decision-making: Use the insights gained to make informed business decisions, personalise marketing strategies, improve services, etc.

Step 7: Monitor and update

Continuous monitoring: Regularly assess data quality, security measures, and compliance to adapt to evolving needs. As data depreciates, you’ll need to top-up and build fresh contacts to sustain market reach. “Goneaway” contacts can be traced to continue your relationship.

Update processes: Modify data management strategies as needed based on feedback, technological advancements, or changes in business objectives. As your business grows, so will your need for more advanced data and email marketing infrastructure.

Step 8: Documentation and training

Document procedures: Create comprehensive documentation for data handling processes, security measures, and compliance guidelines. A robust data governance plan with a minimum number of gatekeepers is crucial.

Training and education: Ensure employees are trained on data handling protocols, security measures, and compliance standards.

Step 9: Feedback and improvement

Seek feedback: Collect input from users, stakeholders, and customers to improve data management processes.

Iterate and improve: Use feedback to refine strategies, systems, and processes for better data management.

Step 10: Disaster recovery and contingency planning

Backup and recovery plans: Establish protocols for data backup, recovery, and disaster response to prevent data loss or breaches.

By following these steps, you can effectively manage B2B data, ensuring its accuracy, security, and value for your business needs.