Direct marketers tend to think in terms of business record completeness as a list of the “usual suspects”. You know, SIC/NAICS, Business address, Main telephone, Key contact (with email address), Revenue, Number of employees, Web address, etc. Pretty standard record right? And at that it can cost a pretty penny.
In an era of unprecedented day to day and professional mobility, business contact is a multi-point, moving target. B2B direct marketers need to know what's up, and down. Who is who, who is new, and where they are NOW.
One of the more chilling Cold War weapons was the MIRV – Multiple Independently-Targeted Re-entry Vehicle. One payload launched at a target actually contained a number of individually directed weapons. If the intended target was not in one place it might be in another.
The comparison to 21st Century direct marketing targeting is apt insofar as the target may be in one of many places, or all at once. The target may consume marketing messages in one form or another, or all in sequence. The need to get the addressing right is as important as the need to tactically build the message.
In 2017 there’s so much more to a business marketing record if you really want to connect with B2B targets. That’s because the people (remember them?) who make businesses run have added so many dimensions to their contact lives that getting your offer in front of them requires more effort. The bar has been raised for being considered a player worthy of their time.
Statistics from the D&B Data Quality report show record completeness continues to be an area where most B2B organizations struggle, taking a more than 10% dive in the average Health Scale Rating in 2015 from 2.9 to 2.6, or "unreliable." And again, closer inspection of key segmentation fields like industry, revenue and company size, shows a decline across the board to keep those categories stuck in the "risky" range with an average score of 1.6.
In a study conducted by Informatica and Dun & Bradstreet, the following data volatility was quantified:
Consider what happens every 30 minutes (Source: Dun & Bradstreet - The Sales & Marketing Insitute):
- 120 business addresses change
- 75 phone numbers change
- 20 CEOs leave their jobs
- 30 new business are formed
If It’s Not Fresh...
All record data decays over time, even as new forms are being added. How long has your data been around? Company name, type of business, address, top contact, SIC. SIC/NAICS, telephone, sales volume, number of employees, branch vs. home office. And recent additions, such as mobile phone, social media addresses, plus, I.P. targeting. The development of advanced techniques has enabled data hygiene to distinguish readily between business and personal phone numbers, more timely NCOA updates, and the bane of contact efficiency, duplicate records.
The increasingly granular nature of contact record keeping means it is now more important than ever to keep lists fresh. Direct marketer credibility is as tenuous as the last erroneous business detail or point of contact.