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Data Measures Activities, Too

March 20, 2013 | By Jay Famico

Do your marketing reports measure contact activities (e.g. number of contacts generated from a webinar)? Do your marketing tactics use contact activity to generate the target list (e.g. contacts who downloaded certain assets)? Does your scoring model use contact activity to help prioritize leads? If you’re like most marketers, the answer to all these questions is “yes.”

Do your marketing reports measure contact activities (e.g. number of contacts generated from a webinar)? Do your marketing tactics use contact activity to generate the target list (e.g. contacts who downloaded certain assets)? Does your scoring model use contact activity to help prioritize leads? If you’re like most marketers, the answer to all these questions is “yes.”

Why, then, do most marketing operations teams neglect to include or discuss contact activity data when embarking upon a data quality, data management or data governance project? Why focus only on field-based data? I believe there are three reasons: a) using contact activity data is more difficult than simply purchasing or validating contact/account data, b) the topic of activity data is not well covered and c) using contact activity data requires coordination across several departments and application owners (it involves more than just a marketing automation platform and sales force automation system).

Consider focusing on the following digital activities:

  • Web site pages visited. Can you identify the topic (solution, vertical, service, customer need) of each Web page that a contact views ?
  • Email responses. For each email a contact responds to, can you identify the type, topic, sender name, date/time sent and if the call to action was taken (beyond the email click)?
  • Videos engaged. For each video a contact engages with, can you identify its topic and solution area and how much the individual watched?
  • Forms submitted. For each registration form a contact submits, can you identify the offer (e.g. the content asset) and topic/solution it relates to?
  • Online searches. For each search a contact conducts on your corporate Web site (or each search that led a contact to your Web site), can you define whether it is solution/topic-related or a general term? Can you determine the conversion (not just the clickthrough rate) and bounce rate for each term/phrase?
  • Social-media-engaged. For each social media engagement a contact has with your organization, can you identify which social media handle she or he engaged with, and the type of message (e.g. customer win, best practice) he or she responded to?
  • Product use. If your product is software-as-a-service, do you access product heartbeat information? Can you determine what the product is being used for and if frequency of use is increasing/decreasing?
  • Offers engaged. Can you determine which content assets a contact has consumed and which content has been offered but not consumed?

Can you EASILY get to this level of precision? Can you EASILY segment contacts in this way? Even if you don’t associate contacts to these activities, can you EASILY categorize your organization’s interactions in this context?

The next time you’re discussing data quality or data standardization, think about activities. How can you modify the way you obtain and manage contact activities to make your marketing reporting, segmentation and lead prioritization more precise, accurate and ultimately valuable? How can you update your business processes to record and store all meaningful contact activities for use in segmentation, reporting and insight?

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