Harnessing all relevant data into a B2B database is essential in business today. With that in mind we thought it would be helpful to take a look at the goals involved in building and maintaining a B2B database. The following outlines typical goals. Often a database building effort may be initially driven by one of these goals. Usually, however, the other goals quickly come into play.
A Note about B2B Data Sources
It is important to note that the database could be sourced from multiple data sources. Often the database may start around one main data set. However, the database should be able to handle multiple data sources and to properly deal with multiple data source issues, such as overlap records and linking related records. Additional data sets will often follow.
Typical B2B Database goals:
Improve Analytical Insights into Customer, Product, and Market Behavior
A database should enable the creation of accurate and complete reports. This includes the ability to compile all sales revenue and transaction activity for a client, over time, including all client and related contacts and locations. The database should become a framework for analysis, easily accessed and used by all who need to know.
Develop a Complete View of the Customer and Prospective Customer
In order to properly work with clients it is important to have a complete view of the client relationship. Sometimes this is called a 360 degree view of the customer. In any event, it is a comprehensive view of the customer (and prospective customer). A database should correlate transaction data, along with location and contact data. Moreover, the database should link together related locations and contacts to enable cross selling and up selling.
Improve Data Quality
Due to the diverse nature of business communications, transactions and data inputs today, the quality of data can suffer. Data quality issues include duplicate records, incomplete records, inaccurate records and unrelated records. A B2B database can be the platform for continuous and ongoing data quality assessments and improvements, including data cleansing and data standardization.
Enhance Existing Data Systems
Often, due to the nature and focus of a client or member management data system, it is difficult to change the structure of the system or add data from other data sets. A database can include all important data from all sources, as well as be a cross reference to various sources. The database can enhance the existing data management systems with important linked data. This can be done without burdening the existing data system with excessive processing and overhead.
Create Accurate and Complete Marketing List Selections and Extracts for Campaigns
With a database built around important data assets, marketing can use the database to create list selects and extracts for various outreach campaigns. The database can also be used for analysis of responses to the outreach campaigns.
Manage and integrate External Data into Internal Data Systems
With the myriad of external data sets that are now available, it can be difficult to use those data sets without first reflecting the external data against internal data assets. This is to determine potential overlap and unique records. This is important, for example, when special offers, not being offered to existing clients, are to be made to “prospects” identified in newly acquired external data sets. The database can be used to manage and integrate external data appropriately.
Integrate Data Systems as a Result of Merger or Acquisition
A merger or acquisition will create a need to correlate and integrate data from the data systems of the individual pre merger organizations. The database becomes a key component in understanding the results and benefits of the merger. This includes the extent of the overlap between the two organizations, along with unique clients and revenues from each individual organization.