By Robert Pease, CMO Practice Lead for Heinz Marketing

This is part three in an eight-part series on the keys to marketing greatness in 2015.  Part one focused on demand generation, part two focused on content marketing.

We’re featuring these keys leading up to our webinar on November 6 where we will cover them in greater detail. Today we highlight the topic of Database Health.

For the non-technically inclined marketer, the mere presence of this phrase can generate anxiety and frustration.  Take a deep breath and get in there.  It is core to your marketing efforts.

The accuracy and effectiveness of the information available to you that is used to engage prospects through the buying journey is extremely important and requires constant attention to keep up to date.

No one likes to receive a personalized email that fails on personalization.  Those techniques can work in certain situations but if you database doesn’t include extensive information about a prospect then best to avoid them.

Also, more is not definitely better.  Blindly buying lists or doing bulk downloads from one of several services offering contact details may bring a moment of elation only to be followed by frustration at the outdated records and lack of engagement from trying to start a conversation with someone who has never heard of you and not really given you their contact information directly.

Focus on populating your prospect database with only those who fit your ideal customer profile.  Mapping these two together gives you a measure of success around collecting, maintaining, and using your database to drive your sales funnel.

Constantly exercise and build your prospect database.  Exercise it through use – meaningful offers, value-added information, and interesting content.  Do not simply fill a prospect’s inbox until they unsubscribe.   Twenty five to thirty percent of the contact records in your prospect database will “age out” annually as people switch jobs, change roles, or otherwise stop using the contact information they first provided you.  Give them an incentive to keep you up to date on their contact details through insights and content relevant to them and their success.

Build your prospect database with opt-in strategies where your target prospects want to hear more, learn more, or know more.  Don’t let your database fields drive the landing page and form design.  You can get all the information you need over time or through 3rd party data enhancement services.  Focus on the least amount of friction to drive a prospect to the next stage of engagement.

Join us November 6th for more on this and seven more keys to marketing domination in 2015.