Data used to be seen as a static collection of objects, properties that could be moved around or stacked in different ways but were essentially inert. That’s wholly different from today’s view of data as a dynamic, multifaceted aspect of an organization’s knowledge base. Instead of something to copy and paste to fill in the requisite blanks, data has come into its own as a source of insight.
For marketing database services, that has revolutionized how prospect lists are handled. List access means much more than a catalog of names and addresses; contact information is just the beginning of what you get from data providers.
Reactive Real-Time Data
One of the biggest changes in database management is the time in which data is stored and retrieved. Real-time updates send a torrent of data flowing into the system, and storage is only part of the equation. Your database manager must set up rules for processing data on the fly – less of a library, with its sedate rows of hardcover books genteelly aging on the shelves, and more like a hectic day on Wall Street with simultaneous exchanges happening at a frenetic pace.
Database management services set up rules to keep information flowing freely, automating cleansing and append processes to update information within moments of a change on the client’s side. The quicker and more agile your data becomes, the fewer lost leads you’ll have, and the better you’re able to maintain the speed of service customers demand.
Rapid updates to records are only as useful as they are accurate. It does no good to fast-track invalid information into the database, so you need a verification system that’s as fast as the influx of data your system receives. Verification methods have kept pace with improvements in database services, allowing your marketing database manager to cross-reference and verify your data against a master file such as the National Change of Address (NCOA).
When data is centralized, the people who access and analyze it can get better results with less effort. By housing your data together instead of in siloed systems, you and your database manager are able to integrate disparate sets of information to make account files more complete. Having a comprehensive view of a prospect or customer across multiple departments and over time is essential to account-based marketing (ABM), which is where B2B marketing is moving. ABM is a proven revenue generator, so this trend is likely to become even stronger in coming years.
Marketers can make a deeper dive into their leads’ needs and motivations than ever before. Demographic and firmographic information is just the beginning; by overlaying this data with behavioral data to see it in context, you get a nuanced, complex view of your prospects. It’s as close as marketers can come to discovering what your leads are thinking as they gather information and make buying decisions. When you know what prospects think, you also open a window on what they’re likely to do next, allowing you to anticipate their needs – a win for you and your customers.
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