Big data is a hot topic right now, and for good reason. Today’s business intelligence tools make mining massive databases for information a fairly simple process for end-users. In fact, business intelligence can be integrated into lead generation forms and used to standardize and clean the data – all in the blink of an eye. It gets even better. The leads can be segmented based on data and performance measured, monitored, and analyzed. As a big data-based Internet marketing campaign continues, it becomes possible to score leads based on quality and conversions. Thus, future leads can be prioritized or ignored based on reliable, performance-based metrics.
Using big data in Internet marketing campaigns begins at the lead capture point of the process. With traditional online lead generation strategies, marketers require leads to fill out a form and provide specific information in order to receive a free report, white paper, eBook, or other incentive. While most Internet users are accustomed to filling out basic forms with their names and email addresses, they balk at longer, more intrusive forms.
If you’re targeting business leads, you may want detailed data from each prospect such as the prospect’s job role (and, thus, the likelihood of being a decision maker), the size of the firm, number of employees, annual revenues, and other information. This information is helpful in determining if the firm is a good fit for your product or service. Using detailed information allows you to segment leads based on the company’s size, the prospect’s job role, the type of information requested, and so on.
However, a CEO searching for information contained in your white paper, online video series, newsletter, or other downloadable product may feel the effort isn’t worth the informational incentive. By integrating big data at the lead capture point, you can tap into external databases that match user supplied information with larger databases containing additional details.
For example, your lead capture form might require the individual’s name and job role as well as the company’s name. Technology exists that can cross-reference the company’s name to business databases that contain the firmographic data you require. Your prospects no longer need to fill out long forms, and you receive valuable data that you can use to segment and prioritize leads based on company data retrieved from external databases.
These big data technologies can also deliver standardized data as well as verify contact information. For example, individuals may be inclined to enter fake phone numbers in an attempt to avoid phone calls. Others may inadvertently transpose numbers in an address. Database service providers use technologies that can detect and correct errors like these using a process known as data “hygiene.”
Scoring leads is another benefit of using big data and business intelligence in your marketing campaigns. For example, analytical tools and reports can reveal which types and categories of leads actually convert. Depending on how far you want to take it, you can also include cost per lead, revenue per lead, and other metrics and compare results by segment. Using business intelligence, analytics, and input from your sales team allows you to rank leads based on quality. You can scorecards to identify the hottest leads for your sales team as well as discard leads that are likely to lead to nowhere or cost too much to pursue based on historical information.
By tapping into big data at the point of lead generation online, you can get the information you need without overly imposing on your prospects. Business intelligence tools allow you to clean, standardize, segment, and prioritize leads based on scorecards.