‘Garbage In, Garbage Out’: 3 Reasons Why Data Validation Is Crucial for B2B Marketing Success

35% of the lead data submitted on forms is flawed. So why are so many B2B marketers losing out on their strategy’s Big Win? What’s more, why are their companies failing to safeguard their demand-generation investment?

Content and online lead generation are the beating heart of modern B2B marketing. The core goal of today’s marketers is to attract decision makers onto their websites, before providing them with content that is so useful, so valuable, and so compelling, that those decision makers are prepared to part with their contact data in exchange for it.

Yet the technical significance of this first data capture process is still crucially overlooked in B2B marketing. This value exchange is paramount to any marketing strategy. For the potential lead that exchange means filling in online forms that ask for job title, name, company name, email address, and telephone number, as well as their consent for follow up marketing communications.

Meanwhile, for the marketer, getting hold of this prospect data is an expensive process. In fact, one way or another, the entirety of modern B2B marketing time, resource, and budget is spent feeding the funnel. That makes data capture one of the most valuable ROI’s in your entire strategy. So why risk wasting all that investment to invalid data?

Leveraging ROI from The Start: The Purpose of On-Form Data Validation in B2B Marketing.

On top of this expenditure, it’s also likely that the person who issues that all-important contact data is not the same person with whom you make first marketing contact. For a good marketer, that knowledge is also invaluable; all these complex internal relationships within the target customer need to be mapped and understood.

This is why validating prospect data right from the start of the demand-generation process can have such a decisive impact on business successes. As the saying with marketing databases goes, ‘garbage in, garbage out’: If you put bad, inaccurate, or incomplete data into your finely tuned marketing machine, you inevitably lose traction with prospects; their engagement slips, and ultimately you risk the customer turning to competitors.

So even as the sales funnel is busy attracting, nurturing and converting leads as effectively as possible, it will always remain hindered by invalid data, or even poorly validated data. Above all, something as simple as flawed data burdens the whole process at the cost of sales time, wasted leads, and damaged attribution.

3 Quick Wins from On-Form Validation

#1. Saving wasted sales time.

Every minute your sales people spend ringing invalid numbers or correcting them is a minute of sales time that your competitors have stacked up against you – and with research from InsideSales.com showing that between 35% and 50% of orders go to the vendor who makes contact first, invalid phone numbers are costing you sales.

#2. Filtering wasted leads.

Research from the Online Marketing Institute shows that it takes somewhere between 7 to 13+ touches to convert a lead from first contact to sale. If your marketing automation platform doesn’t have a working email address, it won’t manage a second touch – let alone 13.

#3. Fixing impaired attribution.

According to research from CEB (now part of Gartner), B2B buying decisions are arrived at through consensus, with an average of 5.4 decision makers signing off on a purchase before it goes through. Of course, we rely on data to understand that complex relationship and drive marketing and sales strategies.

However, bad data, even as simple as an incorrectly spelled company name, can see marketing leads not attached to customers in CRM. Quality validation checks prevent these simple errors from disrupting an invaluable knowledge base.

The Results Are Real

Having spent over 7 years working alongside the B2B client and now Product Manager of a demand-generation technology, I still begin any technical consultation with on-form validation. Not only is it a safeguard for your most valuable data assets, it’s also a simple process that makes real changes to business models and results.

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Written by Adam Carter