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Build a Balanced Portfolio of Information Sources

When amassing data on prospects and customers, it's always smart to use multiple sources

SiriusDecisions helps business-to-business companies worldwide improve sales and marketing effectiveness. Management teams make more informed business decisions through access to industry analysts, best practice research, benchmark data, peer networks, events and continuous learning courses

As more companies embark on account-based or named account marketing efforts, the importance of contact and account data moves front and center. The more you know about the target audience, the more impactful and efficient the marketing. The challenge is determining which data sources are best.

“While it might seem convenient to get everything from a single source, a ‘bet the farm’ model for sources of contact and account data will work about as well as the average single-stock portfolio,” state bloggers at SiriusDecisions, a provider of B2B industry analysis, best practice research, benchmark data and peer networks.

They recommend building a balanced portfolio of internal and external information sources that provide the most complete insights about your market, as well as the companies and prospects you need to reach. Here are some resources to consider:

Internal Sources– Take an inventory of what you already have. Marketers can build a wealth of account knowledge using their available resources and incorporate them into planning, including campaign message and tactic development. The goal is to create a rich understanding of accounts and contacts so that marketing can get the right message to the right prospects at the right points in the buyer’s journey and customer lifecycle.

External Sources– Different resources contribute different information. The key is understanding what you need and who best provides it. Shop around inside the company as a first step, both for references on quality and value as well as possible shared access. Beware of overlapping investments that drain budgets, especially if you can get access to the same tools that other groups in the company already have.

“The bottom line for data is that it always pays to put multiple resources to work. The key is having the right mix to deliver the right information at a reasonable cost to support your objectives,” the SiriusDecisions blog states. “If you do your homework to learn what’s available internally and externally, and then weigh the strengths and weaknesses of each source to address your specific needs, you’ll make a smarter investment.”