The Complete Guide to Data Enrichment

on December 31, 2019

The Complete Guide to Data Enrichment

When a mission-critical deal is on the line, B2B sales can be more like negotiating a strategic partnership (or romantic relationship) than merely persuading someone to buy a product. Today, when both the stakes and the competition couldn’t be higher, a knowledgeable and personalized approach is the key to moving leads down the funnel. Data is the fuel that drives the B2B customer journey, but first-party data alone isn’t enough to provide the insights you’ll need to stand out from the competition.

Having access to the same volunteered data your competitors have, you don’t have much of an advantage over them. To get better and deeper data, you can use data enrichment.

Data enrichment is a process that can turn the information you have into a complete profile that accurately maps the needs of your leads.

What is Data Enrichment?

Customer data can originate from a number of sources.  It can be obtained directly from leads themselves—for example, by having them fill out a form in order to download a white paper or request a product demo or requesting a meeting with a salesperson. It can be obtained from data tracking software that tracks user engagement on your own properties (such as Google Analytics, Mixpanel, Appsflyer, etc.). In addition, there is something called third-party data. 

Third-party data is data provided on website visitors, customers, prospects that is derived from external interactions these users made with digital and offline properties that are not our own. For example, some third-party data enrichment platforms, like Oktopost’s People Database :), will cross-reference Linkedin data with web tracking data to “enrich” user data and better understand our website traffic.

how does data enrichment work

In other words, third-party data can be leveraged to make our first-party data more robust, which is to say its usefulness in a B2B sales approach. A couple of common uses are:

Data enrichment describes a broader approach that may involve both cleansing and appending existing data sets, as well as connecting it with external data from social media, contact lists, and other third party sources. Anything that refines and improves the quality of customer data by filling in gaps and correcting “bad” information can be considered data enrichment.

Missing, incomplete, and outdated records are the primary detractors to customer data quality. Data enrichment is the solution smart companies are employing in order to correct these issues and confidently make data-driven sales and marketing decisions. United States businesses also have spent more than $19 billion on digital data assets in 2018, yet many marketers still rely on aggregated demographic and behavioral data. Companies that make effective use of enriched data have the option to personalize the funnel to the level of the individual lead.

Why Do B2B Marketers Need to Enrich Their Data?

Data enrichment has a wide range of potential applications, but there are several challenges specific to B2B marketing that data enrichment can potentially solve.



Data Enrichment, Step by Step

Since the details that make up a customer profile are subject to change over time, any effective process will necessarily involve ongoing, iterative enrichment operations. So where should you start?

1. Define Your Needs

Extraneous data can introduce distractions and confusion, so it’s counterproductive to enrich existing data with additional information that isn’t necessary for your purposes. Before enriching your data, make sure you’re clear on what you need and what you’re going to use it for.

2. Evaluate Your Data Set

You must assess the quality, completeness, and accuracy of your existing data before you embark on an enrichment process. Figure out where the gaps in your records are so that you don’t waste time sorting through redundant, unneeded data.

3. Segment the Audiences to Enrich

Enrichment should always serve segmentation—and vice versa. The more you can restrict and “tighten” your data sets to focus on specific target segments, the more ROI you’ll realize on your data enrichment activities.



Data Enrichment for Account Based Marketing

Successful account-based marketing in B2B sales demands an informed, data-driven approach that targets the most relevant concerns of the individuals making purchasing decisions. The way to ensure that you have the most complete, up-to-date profiles for your leads and clients is to engage in an ongoing process of data enrichment.

A comprehensive social media marketing strategy can benefit greatly from data enrichment. By gathering profile data and inferring connections between data points and know identities, you can get to know your prospect buyers and their needs much better than before. 

Guiding leads down the B2B sales funnel can be a lengthy and rocky journey, but accurate and reliable  customer data can always help point you in the right direction.

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