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Why Quality Data is the Key Ingredient for Creating More Successful ABM Campaigns

Melody Selby
June 14, 2023 7 MIN Blog

There’s nothing quite like New York City water. Often referred to as “the champagne of drinking water,” the Big Apple’s hydration supply is even credited as the key ingredient for the city’s superior pizza and bagels. 

Like a great slice of New York-style pizza, account-based marketing (ABM) also has a key ingredient to produce superior results. To target the right accounts and create the right content, marketers need quality data to execute effective campaigns. And just like how other city water is unable to replicate the unmistakable taste of New York-made bagels, smart marketers know they need access to the most comprehensive and complete data to succeed.  

Great data is the foundation of successful ABM. B2B Marketers need access to the most comprehensive/complete data to deliver tailored content to prospects precisely when they need it the most. 

Why Marketers Need Quality Data  

Data is no doubt the most essential and valuable ingredient for successful ABM. And yet, marketing data is the most susceptible to a range of data quality issues, including: 

  • Duplicated data 
  • Incomplete data fields 
  • Incorrect data 
  • Outdated data 
  • Misspelled contact information 

Inaccurate data is costly and unfortunately, prevalent in B2B marketing. It’s been reported that up to 25% of B2B database contacts contain critical errors, and 62% of organizations rely on marketing and prospect data that’s up to 40% inaccurate. Timeliness of data also dictates its effectiveness. Marketers need to be focused on having timely intent data that signals when a buyer is in-market and ready to engage. 

Since quality data is the key ingredient of ABM, marketers using inaccurate information to build their campaigns often encounter issues, including:  

  • Misguided targeting and ineffective segmentation: Without reliable and high-quality data, marketers struggle to identify and understand their target accounts. This leads to incorrect assumptions about customer preferences, behaviors, and needs. 
  • Distribution of the wrong content: Marketers need data to accurately map content to the buying journey and deliver it to the right person where and when they need it. Inaccurate data completely upends this process. For example, if a marketer uses intent data from six months ago that tells them a customer downloaded an eBook on social selling, they may assume that the buyer is ready for a product sheet. However, within this time, that customer has now moved on to a new job and that marketer has missed a possible sales conversion.  
  • Ineffective reporting and analytics: ABM is most effective when monitored for gaps and areas of optimization through full reporting and analytics. Inaccurate or inconsistent data can skew these insights, leading to poor campaign measurement and hindered ability to adjust.  
  • Missed customer engagement and sales opportunities: ABM campaigns driven with inaccurate data ultimately erode customer trust and brand perception, further decreasing engagement and the likelihood these customers turn into solid opportunities. Inaccurate personalization and incorrect information damage the customer experience. This can lead to missed opportunities that impact pipeline and revenue down the line. 

Inaccurate data has far-reaching consequences for marketing campaigns and outcomes. By recognizing the benefits of quality data, marketers can prioritize initiatives that ensure the data they rely on is accurate, reliable, and capable of driving effective ABM strategies.  

The Benefits of Quality Data for ABM 

Quality data serves as the foundation of ABM and can be the difference between fully realized campaigns and campaigns that are just missing the mark. When marketers use quality data in ABM they can expect a handful of benefits, including: 

  • Dynamically improved targeting efficiency by focusing efforts on the accounts aiming to purchase a solution. This enables marketers to accelerate deal velocity by influencing buyers with significant involvement in decision-making. 
  • Increased conversion rates by tailoring content and messaging so that it uniquely meets buying committees with the information needed. This allows marketers to differentiate their offering through target market expansion and competitive displacement campaigns built on comprehensive market intelligence and intent data signals. 
  • Better understanding of optimization opportunities within companies, content, and personas to maximize conversions and accelerate deal velocity. By measuring success based on real-time pipeline impact, marketers can determine optimization opportunities faster based on multi-channel engagement. 

Embracing quality data helps B2B marketers overcome some of the more difficult challenges in ABM and make the most of their strategies for stronger impact to pipeline and revenue. 

4 Steps to Improve Data Quality 

New York City has spent billions of dollars building a world-class water system reliant upon extensive quality monitoring and unfiltered water sourced from upstate reservoirs to produce a superior product. While quality data doesn’t cost nearly as much, marketers must treat their own data collection and management with the same meticulous process to ensure data quality.   

1. Implement Standardized Data Collection Processes

Marketers must establish standardized processes for data collection with clear guidelines and templates for capturing data in form fills, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems, and third-party data providers. Clear data collection processes ensure consistency in formats, structure, amount, and data quality. 

For example, when releasing a gated asset, a marketing team creates a form fill to gather information from a reader. When this information gets passed to a customer relationships management (CRM) system or marketing automation system, a profile is created for the contact. Suppose there is missing information because the website forms are different? In that case, marketing and sales teams may not have all the information they need to understand that contact and reach out to them appropriately to further the relationship. ABM needs to be extremely personalized and relevant to the contacts and buying groups marketers target, so problems with data collection will hinder the customer experience. 

Establishing standardized processes for data collection provides a strong foundation for effective data management. It enables a consistent and reliable dataset to personalize campaigns, identify target accounts, and measure campaign effectiveness to create a strong foundation for successful ABM. 

2. Leverage Automation and Validation Techniques

Manual data management and collection lead to inaccuracies, errors, and inconsistencies because humans are fallible. That’s why automation engines are essential in ABM. These tools help streamline data capture and minimize errors caused by human interference. Additionally, leveraging automation frees up marketers’ time to delegate more resources to focusing on personalizing the customer experience through solid strategies and stronger content. 

Most automation tools include validation capabilities to instantly check the accuracy and integrity of data as it’s entered. For example, Madison Logic’s data gathered from engagement with content and advertising campaigns go through a three-step validation process. From verifying addresses and email formats to matching job titles and contacts to LinkedIn profiles, these techniques ensure that data is accurate and reliable. 

3. Integrate Data Sources

It’s hard to glean clear and impactful data insights when it’s pulled from siloed locations. With a single, unified view of engagement data, research data, campaign data, and customer data, marketers can develop a stronger account-based strategy. 

By integrating data sources into a single platform, marketers gain a comprehensive and unified view of customers, campaigns, and overall marketing performance. It becomes a lot easier to: 

  • Understand the impact on pipeline and revenue 
  • Report on how marketing influences pending deals 
  • Identify gap areas and optimization opportunities in existing ABM campaigns 
  • Gain full visibility into the customer journey 

4. Establish a Data Culture

Quality data entry sets the foundation for an entire marketing strategy. To improve their data culture, marketers should focus on how departments and employees connect with insights. By investing in training programs that educate employees on data literacy and storytelling programs, marketers are equipping them with the skills needed to handle the key ingredient of ABM campaigns. 

Marketers must provide clear guidelines on accurately recording and entering data and emphasize the importance of data quality, explaining that accurate and reliable data leads to successful ABM campaigns. 

It’s equally important to share the impact of poor data quality and management on the organization’s bottom line. Sharing background and examples helps reinforce the need for precision and attention to detail. 

Ensuring adherence to privacy laws and guidelines is the last piece of establishing a data culture but the most important. Pay attention to national and international privacy laws, such as: 

SOC-2 compliance is crucial in ABM because it assures that an organization has implemented robust security measures to protect client data and maintain information confidentiality, integrity, and availability. 

In the context of ABM, where sensitive customer data is often utilized for personalized campaigns and targeting, SOC-2 compliance demonstrates a commitment to data security and building trust with clients and partners. It ensures that the organization has undergone thorough audits and evaluations to meet industry-standard security controls, reducing the risk of data breaches, unauthorized access, and potential reputation damage. 

By adhering to SOC-2 compliance, ABM marketers can highlight their dedication to data protection and provide peace of mind to their clients, fostering stronger relationships and driving business growth. 

In Summary 

Just as the local tap water used in New York’s pizza and bagels plays a crucial role in their world-renowned taste, quality data is the key ingredient that drives successful ABM campaigns. B2B marketers must prioritize the use of data quality and hygiene to ensure their campaigns are targeted, personalized, and effective. It is the key ingredient for success.