4 Ways to Waste Your Marketing Budget on Bad Data Choices (By Accident)

4 Ways to Waste Your Marketing Budget on Bad Data Choices (By Accident)

Posted on 22 Jan

Your marketing budget is tight.

Thousands of martech vendors want your money. Your email Inbox is a dumping ground for sales reps leaving their kindest efforts to give you a free demo of their software.

But time is money and you need results, too. Something’s got to give.

There is no time for mistakes, bad software choices, or bad practices. Savvy marketers need to have ice in their veins these days to cope with the pressure.

The last thing you need is to waste valuable budget on bad data. It will pollute everything that it touches and ultimately suffocate your ROI.

Nobody makes mistakes on purpose, however. Millions of dollars are blown every week on poor technology that promises the Earth and delivers sweet nothing.

We’re data experts at LeadSift, so here’s the data we know is wasting your dollars. You can do better.

 

IP data

This is one bad data choice that in theory sounds great, but in practice falls short of the dream you bought.

IP data is essentially an insight into which businesses visit your website.

You will typically see University or College traffic come to you when students research projects and are on their campus wi-fi.

That is how IP data works, it tracks back the internet connection website visitors use to access the internet and which company is paying for it.

For example, Facebook has multiple offices, so you can see that their San Jose office has visited your website because the IP address of their San Jose office is different than their other offices.

The internet connection in that office is paid for by Facebook, Inc., which is how you know Facebook is the company that has visited your website.

You’ll be able to see what content they viewed and all sorts of stats. Things you would measure on Google Analytics (time on page, bounce, pages viewed, etc.).

A benefit of IP data is the ability to determine if companies in your target market or from your buyer persona(s) visit your website.

IP data is not good for remarketing to a specific known individual or for sales people. The reason is this:

IP data cannot reveal exactly who looked at your site or content.

Only the name of the company that pays for the internet connection of your website visitor that was used during the visit and any pages that were viewed are revealed.

Now, consider your sales team, who does not know who or what job title the person who looked at your About Us page has.

Nor does your SDR/BDR team have a name to ask for and research on LinkedIn before calling.

They call the reception desk and ask which of the team viewed the company website. The receptionist (if a live human actually answers the phone) does not know.

You could take an educated guess, but are you paying good money for guessing?

This data “strategy” is counter-productive and guessing leads to an error rate that is far too high.

Leading sales managers or sales leadership executives would and should demand for better quality context to use from their marketing team.

 

 

Static lists

This should not be a surprise – but do not buy static data lists to enhance your email list. Ever.

You will have to run an opt-in campaign just to get permission to email these people.

You will get an extremely high bounce rate because the list will be old and full of dead email accounts.

Even with the email addresses that do not bounce, the recipient won’t know who you are or why they should open your email.

Despite your best efforts at cold email outreach and award-winning copywriting, click-through rates will be lower.

They won’t reply. They won’t want any more information.

But your unsubscribe rates will surely rise. Yay!

This is a bad, bad marketing practice. A lazy way to try and “growth-hack” through the email list building process in order to get a quick win.

 

Non-extract data

There are a plethora of data sources available to marketers to view without downloading.

For example, things like social influencer lists are presented in a dashboard and provide useful information to marketers with one caveat: the data manipulation is limited.

Marketing teams need to get under the hood of the car and take the data apart and move things around – not look at it behind a glass screen.

Any platform that does not give you the ability to move and touch the data is not giving you 100% value for money.

This type of service is more common with Freemium tools, as a pay-to-play extra feature.

And while there is nothing inherently wrong with the Freemium model, when considering the core components of your marketing tech stack, it’s important to get the quality where it’s needed.

Using the car analogy again: no one buys an expensive car without checking it over and having a test drive.

 

Survey data

The premise of survey data is promising, but, in reality, it is only as good as the money you put behind it.

In practice, you need to expend a lot of time and effort to get really good (statistically significant) data from surveys.

That is, unless you are blessed with an enormous online audience and returning website traffic audience.

If you’re a small SaaS company, or even a start-up, your audience may not have reached massive proportions.

In this situation, your marketing will need to offer incentives for filling out the survey, likely in the form of a prize or reward, in order to achieve a survey volume necessary for actionable results.

Without proper volume, your data pool is too small to be reliable.

Plus, the probability that your survey results will contain responses primarily from your friends and colleagues, family, and previous colleagues from past companies is high.

Your data will be skewed at best.

So, you’ll have to offer a reward to get that wider audience to help you.

And you will also need to advertise the survey to get more responses.

Because after a while, your personal social connections and email connections will have all filled out the survey or decided they did not want to. You need fresh eyes to share the survey with, and advertising (which isn’t free) is your only avenue.

But wait, there’s more. You need to get a diverse audience to fill out the survey so that your data is not biased to anyone for any reason.

There are so many hoops to jump through just to make sure your data is actually accurate and does not present you with a rose-colored view of the world you work in.

And those costs add up.

 

Don’t look back

The problem marketers face is this: all of these data sources have been around for years.

Avoiding them is easy, if you look forward and not backwards.

Find the future of data in your industry and you will be able to market ahead of the competition.

Making smart marketing data choices will lead you to more effective marketing conversions and a sales team that closes more deals with the leads that you provide.

You can win if you do this.

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