Tuesday, June 18, 2024

True love or bad data? (Database dating advice for the brokenhearted)

For too many marketers and sales professionals, the relationship with the database is complicated, unsatisfying, and fails to live up to its potential.

To you, we say, dry your eyes: This Valentine’s day, DiscoverOrg’s data relationship advice expert is here to solve your stickiest data dilemmas.

Get ready to fall in love with your data all over again.

Here are top 4 database problems (and how to solve them):

  1. I suspect my data is bad. What do I do?

Dear DiscoverOrg,

I love my database. When the data is good, things are great. But lately we’ve been having problems. I can’t help noticing a high email bounce rate (and I suspect my contact information is outdated).

I can’t ignore it anymore, but I’m not ready to give up on my database! What do I do?


Data Dependent

Dear Data Dependent,

Your data isn’t getting any younger.

Yes, it’s hard to let go, but you need to delete some records. I know you’ve probably spent a lot of time getting that information in there (… and maybe a lot of money, too, if you purchased stale data from a third-party provider). And yes, it may take some time and effort to replace it. You have to ask the hard questions.

Make sure that you know what is real and what is fake – and what information is really important to you. That means valid email addresses, accurate job titles, and verified direct-dial phone numbers. If your data isn’t the real deal, it’s time to move along.

Cherish the accurate data, and check in regularly to ensure that it maintains its integrity. (We like to refresh our data every 60 days at most.)

DiscoverOrg’s advice: Bad data isn’t worth your time. Kick it to the curb.

  1. My database is small. Is it too late for me?

Dear DiscoverOrg,

I’m ashamed to admit it, but my database is very small.

I don’t use it very often because I know the information I’m looking for probably won’t be there. Everyone talks about “data integrity” and “data health” … but I don’t even have enough data to worry about problems like that! Searching my database is not a satisfying experience.

  I don’t know how to grow my database. Is it too late for me?


Data Deficient

Dear Data Deficient,

It’s true, size does matter when it comes to sales and marketing intelligence (although more isn’t always better!). A large, robust pipeline of leads is necessary to keep your business growing.

The good news? It’s never too late to grow your database!

It’s always a good time to add accurate, comprehensive contacts records. Find and source new contacts for it regularly. Fill it with good fit, qualified, ready-to-buy prospects, and soon you’ll have the confidence to search – and find all the leads you need to always be closing.

DiscoverOrg’s advice: Keep working at it, and you’ll have a large database in no time.

  1. I want deep data. Too much to ask?

Dear DiscoverOrg,

My data is shallow.

Sure, it seems like I have a lot of records in my database … but there’s not much information behind them. It’s just a bunch of names and email addresses. I need more. I want passion and romance, job functions and tech stack information, org charts and direct-dial phone numbers! I want actionable triggers! I want predictive intelligence!

I want it all.

Is that too much to ask of a database?


Data Drama

Dear Data Drama,

Everyone deserves robust data.

No one should have to settle for just a name, phone number, and email address. Having millions of records may seem like a good thing at first, but you need to look below the surface. Unless there’s a whole lot more information in your database – and the data is good – you’ll never see good ROI.

When collecting data or choosing a data provider, look for characteristics that will contribute to a long-term commitment:

  • Job function & responsibilities (not just a Title)
  • Direct-dial phone numbers
  • Physical location (not just headquarters)
  • Reporting structure
  • Technographic “tech stack” information
  • Action-based triggers and opportunity alerts

DiscoverOrg’s advice: If your data is too shallow, it’s time to move on.

  1. Looking for data in all the wrong places

Dear DiscoverOrg,

My data is great. I know its job is to support my sales and marketing efforts … but I don’t really know how to use it. I understand the phone numbers and email addresses, of course, and I loving having a database with accurate prospecting information.

But I’m afraid I’m missing out on other opportunities. Should I look elsewhere?


Data Deprived

Dear Data Deprived,

You probably ARE missing out on opportunities – but happily, you already have everything you need for a relevant message.

Your data can tell you when to reach, to whom and what to say. Triggers such as funding events and personnel moves are perfect “triggers” to reach out to your prospects. It’s not always a good idea to mention the trigger specifically in your message (you don’t want to seem like a creep!) but it’s a great opportunity for a relevant offer, because these kinds of events usually predict a purchase.

DiscoverOrg’s advice: You don’t need to look elsewhere for a satisfying data experience. You just need to get creative.

Like most relationships, you get out of it what you put in. Your database can be your best friend, your greatest ally, and your biggest source of confidence (when it comes to your next campaign).

Or like a dysfunctional relationship, it can sabotage your best intentions. A neglected database damages email deliverability, thwarts Sales and Marketing alignment, fractures the customer experience … and wastes everyone’s time.

It doesn’t have to be that way. 2018 could be the year you fall in love with data all over again.




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DeAnn Poe
DeAnn Poe
DeAnn Poe is the vice-president of demand generation at DiscoverOrg.