The staggering changes in the workforce—including job loss and turnover—during COVID-19 have severely hampered business-to-business processes. It’s rendered many marketing lists ineffective and in some cases all but useless. Companies rely on databases of contacts for sales and marketing leads and for finding potential employees. “The average statistic, previously, was about 50 percent of a company’s data or marketing list goes bad every two years,” says Sky Cassidy, CEO of MountainTop Data. “There’s been a massive acceleration in data turnover due to COVID. We don’t know the exact rate of data decay yet because it’s still so volatile—but it went through the roof due to the virus. COVID has accelerated it. Not only have people lost their jobs but companies have also changed locations, restructured or employees are working remotely. All of this degrades the usefulness of direct marketing data.”

That’s why having clean and current data is so important. The result of having non-current data is too many bounce-backs from emails sent out, or even worse your messages don’t bounce back but there is no one on the other end. This all leads to a lack of results and needless waste of time and money by your marketing team. Email verification is the first step toward cleansing your dirty data.(1) Just removing bad emails will give you better results(1) and then updating bad email addresses with correct ones will generate more leads. A more thorough data cleaning involves internal database comparison and social media cross verification.

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Trustworthy sources are crucial
Trusting data can be an ongoing issue. People trust direct email because it’s personal, targeted, low cost and isn’t intrusive.(2) They also value Linkedin, which is one of the most widely used social media platforms. It saw its usage rise from 675 million to 722 million in a nine-month span last year.(3)

“Linkedin is still probably one of the most reliable sources you can go to,” Cassidy says. “A ton of companies rely on it for data information. It’s out there and semi-public and it’s first-party info, which makes it way better than some online data companies. Linkedin is basically an original source, but many people have neglected updating their profiles over the last year and thus it is probably more inaccurate now than it has ever been.”

There are many advantages to keeping your data clean. Cassidy offers these tips:

  • Check data points once a year.
  • Format and standardize internal databases.(4)
  • Work with a data company.
  • Identify and remove bad contacts.(4)
  • Weed out fake leads in social media.(4)
  • Perform regular maintenance.

It’s a lot harder than it sounds for businesses to do this themselves. Most companies don’t have the time or expertise to work on their marketing data. “It’s not any fun,” Cassidy says. “It’s just not what they do. If your company sells widgets or software or whatever, data management is not in your skill set. You outsource it.”

According to Cassidy, marketing intelligence for companies has lost considerable accuracy due to the pandemic. This presents major B2B challenges that hamper email marketing campaigns. Working with a data company, like MountainTop Data, you can accomplish this much faster and more efficiently than trying to do it in-house. Businesses can be hurt if they don’t act.

“I think it’s almost like getting in shape,” Cassidy says. “You are getting your data in shape. Luckily, for this, you have a trainer, but you don’t have to go and train. You just hand off your exercise to them and they do it for you. Here, you pay someone to do it. You have to trust them.”

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