B2B Data Quality

Business-to-Business based marketers face many challenges that are in and of themselves very different than those businesses whose marketing focus is more direct to individual consumers. These challenges are quickly recognized by the fact that business name and other contact information contains many more components than what business-to-consumer based marketers are charged with managing. Business based contact information represents not only the individual person at a particular address or location but will also include firm name, professional title, departments, divisions, prestige address, intra company routing, and potentially other auxiliary data items. These auxiliary items may include brands, operational divisions, or various trade styles that in turn may indicate and help tie subsidiaries to their corporate parent organization.

Data element identification, classification, standardization, and validation processes need to incorporate business rules, data definitions, and B2B based validation mechanisms that understand the complex nature of the source data items that are represented and required to be maintained in a B2B based Customer Relationship Management system, Business Intelligence application, or other data warehouse platforms. In order for these marketing and business decision systems to be most effective, the data quality rules and processes that are applied to the information stores that are aggregated within them must themselves be B2B based. A lack of attention to the data differences between B2B and B2C based data initiatives will only serve to generate corrupt data stores which in turn increase costs and decrease effectiveness for the marketing and sales programs that they are designed to support.

By addressing these B2B data quality distinctions at each level that data may enter the enterprise, businesses may in turn set the stage for establishing additional linkage between what might otherwise be disparate items of information in order to drive more targeted and effective sales initiatives. Such sales initiatives might include:

  • Target Marketing Communication by Location. Targeted offer(s) driven by a identification of a common business interest, management, or cooperative buying power based upon common location. These relationships may not appear in formal corporate structures.
  • Staggered Offers. Marketing communication cycles can be modified to occur over a period of time to a select audience of specific decision makers based upon their different roles in purchasing decisions.
  • Limited Quantity per Company. Marketing communication volumes can be selective based on information known regarding company size, sales volume, or other business demographics made possible by enabling an aggregate view of the corporate family.
  • Company Exclude/Include. Promotional campaigns may be adjusted to include or exclude certain companies driven by pertinence of offer to a particular company, department, division, and/or trade style.
  • Intra Company Routing. B2B site or corporate family linkage enables customized addressing of outgoing communications in order to include multiple individuals who may be a part of the corporate decision tree.
  • Aggregate Sales Volume Assessment. A complete view of the corporate family customer can be established which allows sales and marketing teams to more effectively evaluate and control the communication channels to those identified as "best customers".

Effective B2B marketing programs are directly tied to the time and investment made in support of B2B data quality based support initiatives which in turn maximize the opportunity for successful data integration activities. Creating an aggregate view of the corporate family serves to create cost reductions and reduce the risk of making false assumptions based upon invalid, inaccurate, or otherwise erroneous data and information. Maximum returns on the investments made in B2B customer relationship management and other similar "data based" systems and applications can be realized when they incorporate the capacity to accurately identify and link the various members which comprise the corporate family. Solving these challenges serves to improve the overall interaction with existing customers, create the capacity for a true aggregate view of the corporate family, identify trends for new sales opportunities, and otherwise maximize marketing communication effectiveness.

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