As a data minded, marketing professional I’ve come across a very important marketing principle in my travels across the B2B and B2C marketing universe. That principle is the proper tagging and segmentation of marketing data. Every successful marketer knows that good data makes a successful marketing initiative. The three key areas where I’ve seen good data have a huge positive impact is Data Capture, Data Transfer, and Data Reporting.

Data Capture

This may seem like a straightforward area, but it isn’t. When gathering information, whether it be on your web forms, webinars or even tradeshows, you can’t stop at the data that the prospect/customer provides you. You must take the data that is provided and create a clear picture of that person. This clear picture will determine if they are the right fit. How do you do that? You can accomplish this by adding and tagging additional information that will allow you to better segment and bucket your leads.

For example, if they indicate their title is, Director of Process Improvement, it’s important to break the title out into two meaningful parts: One being title level and the other being buyer persona. Through marketing automation, you can tag additional fields with their respective title level and buyer persona.

The more you can use the existing data to your advantage the more meaningful picture you can create. This will allow you to take that data and send the right people down the right path the moment you gather their data, almost like PLINKO for Marketing Data.

Data Transfer

This area is one of the biggest struggles I’ve seen companies have in my time as a digital marketer. This ties directly into my first point that if you don’t capture and provide data to the Sales team in the right way, it can seriously affect the outcome and ROI of the marketing events that are run.

The best impression we can make as marketers to our sales counterparts is with clean, accurate data. Customer dinners, amazing tradeshow booths, and fancy websites are great, but what do each of those items have in common? Data! What does the sales team see on a daily basis from marketing? Leads in their queues. Now imagine if you only put the right prospects in your sales teams with the most meaningful picture in their queues. This will better ensure your leads are followed up on faster and more effectively. A happy Sales Team member means a healthier marketing ROI!

Data Reporting

In a perfect world, every CFO and CMO would allocate their marketing budget in their highest performing areas to get the most bang for their buck. Without accurate reporting, this is an impossible task. What if I told you it’s possible to pull the right reports without using a lot of man hours gathering data from multiple technologies? You can achieve this through tagging and proper segmentation

Being able to identify your KPIs and metrics for reporting will allow you to decide how to best tag and segment every lead that goes through marketing’s hands.

For example, it’s important to show what marketing program the prospect was generated from and that it directly affected sales revenue. But, if that’s all the data you have, you can’t make it repeatable or even make it more cost-effective. Now, if you could tag the prospect at every crucial moment in the Lead Generation process, along with the date, you’d have much more data to report on. You can now look at your data in two new ways: 1) accurate conversion rates and 2) conversion velocity. Each of these two directions can help you take a more strategic approach on your Lead Generation process.

Good data has become more important to marketing to ensure the right things are done at the right time. Adding a few extra fields/data points can drastically improve your whole marketing approach.