Good list building affects all aspects of business, including the funnel and pipeline. Collecting the names, titles, emails, phone numbers, and social data, creates that holistic record. More and more, marketers are becoming responsible for that holistic record, and are becoming the data steward for their entire organization. In fact, in our recent study, 37% of respondents claimed to be in marketing operations, and have taken the role as the data steward. In other words, if you own the list, own the data too.
However, building a quality, accurate, and targeted list requires planning. The best way to build targeted lists that are holistic, clean and complete is to establish a list building methodology. List generation is an ongoing strategy because data is ever changing. Therefore, it’s not a one-time event.
Here are three tips to becoming the best list builder.
1. Collaborate and plan
Get all of your key stakeholders together thinking about your list goals and process before you go out and start list building. The list builder stakeholders include your team as well as other teams impacted by your list building efforts. Include those who have built successful lists before, such as your list vendor or high level salespeople, to weigh in and provide insight.
Make sure you’re on the same page about why you’re creating the list, including your goals. Know what you’re going to do with the list once it’s built. Determine the plan and big picture before you dive in.
2. Standardize your data
Part of your methodology includes data standardization. This sets the standard for how your data is organized in your list building efforts. For example, will your contact’s title be organized as VP of Sales or VP, Sales? This may seems like the same title, but to a CRM, it’s two different formats, and therefore, two different titles. Another example is California versus CA. A CRM does not recognize this as the same location. Therefore, before you build your list, and before you move it into your CRM or marketing automation for your outreach and campaign creation, you’ve got to have a plan for standardizing it.
3. Incorporate your CRM
Your list building strategy should also include your CRM from the start. These cannot be independent. As you are gathering and using the data, plan to push it into your system, for instance, include Salesforce data migration. Keep the two connected as much as possible. Not only is it important to have your CRM full of your new list data for outreach and tracking purposes, but it’s also important to check against existing contacts. If you’re buying a list and half of those contacts are already in your CRM, you’re wasting your money on the list. This is considered a duplicate. A strong list vendor and/or integration with your CRM, such as Salesforce, will detect salesforce duplicate contacts, and give you the option to view both records — old and new -— side by side. Then, you can merge the existing record and new record resulting in a single, updated record. No longer are you paying for the same contact data twice.
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