In B2B marketing, getting to know your prospects and leads better can oftentimes require adding more fields on your marketing database. That’s why contact list appending remains a critical component of a modern B2B marketer’s data management plan. When done right, data appending enables you to paint a sharper image of potential customers, so that you’ll be able to engage and nurture them the right way.
In a previous blog entry, we wrote about a number of tried-and-tested segmentation strategies to boost response and conversion rates. One approach we pointed out was to segment a list based on company-level information. In that same post, we also saw that firm-level attributes should act as your list segmentation baseline, since company details are widely-available and inexpensive to gather on scale.
But a key challenge when slicing a list based on firmographics is that there’s often way too much information you can collect on a company. It can be difficult to decide which attributes to focus on and which ones to ignore, given the dizzying amount of company-specific information available out there.
So, before you kick-start your next contact list appending project with an in-house team or with a third-party provider, don’t skimp on any of these six must-have firmographic attributes (arranged in no particular order):
- Job Title
If the fields in your B2B contact list include only the standard first and last names plus email address, then you’re doing your whole email marketing effort a massive disservice each time you reach out.
Job titles are a great way to start coming up with more relevant and personalized messages. Each job title represents an entire set of (potentially) unique pain points and interests you can use to refine your targeting precision.
- Role in Buying Process
Knowledge Tree says there may be 7 to 20 decision-makers involved in most B2B buying decisions. That’s a lot of people to reach out to, each with their own priorities, objectives, and interests to look after.
That’s why finding out what role a prospect plays in the purchase process can make or break your marketing campaign’s targeting and segmentation capabilities.
This really should go without mentioning, but we’ll include this here for good measure. A target company’s industry should sit on or close to the top items on a list of must-have firmographic data.
On your upcoming contact list appending project, you (or your service provider) should match not only the industry name but also the corresponding NAICS/SIC codes as well.
- Number of Employees
Knowing a company’s size based on how large or small its workforce is can be an ideal segmentation/targeting route to take for some B2B organizations.
This company detail is especially useful if your solution or product line is geared toward businesses with a specific workforce size. A startup with fewer than 50 employees most likely has a different set of pain points when compared to an enterprise of more than 500 employees.
- Annual Revenues
Similar to employee size, a company’s annual revenue helps you objectively classify how large or small your target business is. Annual revenue is a standard field in most B2B prospect lists. It’s usually taken together with workforce size when segmenting or filtering B2B marketing databases.
Many third-party contact list appending companies supply figures for annual sales either as an actual amount or as an estimated range. So, when you choose to partner with a data provider, make sure that the value type for this field remains consistent for each record.
Depending on your targeting needs, geographic location can be as broad as a single field for country/region or as granular as street address. The main idea is to ensure consistency with the location data you or your service provider obtains.
You should also consider appending data on whether the given address refers to the company’s headquarters or one of its branches, unless this information is already apparent on the address field names themselves.
These are the top six types of company information you should be looking at as part of your B2B contact list appending activities. Of course, there are a ton of other firmographic data worth collecting, but let’s save those for a future post or for the comments section below.