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Many B2B companies struggle with database challenges, which tend to complicate the launch of new marketing campaigns. For the most part, database issues lead to poor campaign results and wastage of marketing resources.

There are several reasons companies experience such challenges, including siloed data, old data, complex database structures, disparate data sources, and direct import of purchased lists without cleaning. With the right database management strategy, these are issues that can be fixed.

Here, we take you through simple steps to building a healthy, high-performing database.

1) Analyze & Clean Your Database

Most business databases tend to be cluttered, impacting the integrity of the data. As such, it’s advisable to analyze your data to create a new database or database instance for an upcoming campaign.

Leverage database analytics tools and filters to create a subset of your database while aligning it to your business and campaign needs. If you have multiple services and products, you’ll need several core databases, each uniquely created to address the specifics of those products.

2) Simplify Your Database Structure

Complicated database structures make it difficult to access your data’s value. The way data is organized in your database provides a basis for success or failure for your campaigns. As such, you need to map out your database and simplify its structure.

Reduce the number of fields and tables in your database. Identify your key sources and eliminate those that aren’t delivering valuable data. This way, you can focus on a clean and streamlined database without any complexity whatsoever.

3) Look for Data Gaps

How helpful is your database to your sales and marketing teams? Does it provide all the data they need to understand customers, prospects, and the market? If not, you need to identify gaps in your database.

This means taking the time to understand your sales and marketing teams’ needs and how your database is falling short in addressing them. You also need to identify weak vertical spots that don’t align with your services and products. Ideally, your data should have adequate density across all markets, customer groups, or job functions you’re targeting.

4) Seal the Gaps

After identifying your data gaps, you’ll need to seal them. Here, you can either source the data using your own campaigns or use list acquisition. Whatever your preference, be sure you’re plugging the holes with relevant and valuable data.

Analyze all your company databases to determine whether they have details you could import —they will help fill the gaps. However, you still need to scrub the data—just don’t import it as it is unless it’s already cleaned. Apply the same approach when buying lists—you must qualify every contact.

5) Protect Your Database

Once you have completed all the steps above, you should be vigilant about what gets into your database. It’s pointless for you to spend time analyzing and cleaning your data only to make a mess by allowing everything into it.

Set standards and make them known to all your team members. Note that not all respondents to your campaigns constitute leads. Instead, your list and database should target prospects that have shown interest in buying.

6) Keep it Updated

Always keep your database updated--you don’t want to end up with old data that has no value to your campaigns. Stay in front of your customers and prospects to keep your data current and maintained.

You can use email, direct mail, and phone campaigns to keep your database current. Avoid relying on the sales team to maintain your database. Instead, have a dedicated team to do it.

Summary: Build a Healthy Database

Today, the health of your database is directly tied to your business outcomes. As such, keeping your data clean and current can result in better outcomes for your campaigns. To this end, you must know your best prospects, their locations, line of business, and characteristics.

Take the time to analyze your top customers to understand their similarities, attributes, and characteristics. This should give you a general direction for your database. Involve all the key teams, including phone, sales, and marketing teams, to verify your data and maintain it.

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