The SMB’s URL: Key to Unlocking Deep Data and Analysis for Personalized Marketing
Most B2SMB marketers will reach out to an SMB once they have contact information alone – with little or no additional information. They think contact information is sufficient to market to the SMB, whether it’s by email, phone, or even snail mail. They’ll market to that SMB without even knowing the SMB’s website (URL) — or other elements to the digital footprint.
There are two key reasons that so many companies operate with such a “low bar”, even in this era of personalization:
- Marketers simply cannot identify the SMB’s Website. A recent analysis by BuzzBoard of over one million SMB records from the CRMs of leading B2SMB marketers reveals that less than 20% (17.5%) of these SMB records included both a valid domain and correctly matching company name. In spite of the best efforts by the marketer (and their data suppliers and partners), the correct URL is simply too hard to find for the other 80% of SMB records.
- Marketers are under huge pressure to keep their sales and marketing operations running at full capacity and speed – even if this means using low-quality and incomplete information on target SMBs.
Let’s reflect for a moment on these realities:
Why the SMB’s Website is so valuable to marketers In our experience, messages that aren’t personalized to the recipient actually harm the marketer, because they reveal the marketer hasn’t made the effort to know or understand the recipient.
In an era where “customer experience” is the new marketing touchstone, a generic marketing message is often worse than no message at all.
By knowing the SMB’s website, a marketer can uncover vast information about the SMB that is essential for personalizing marketing messages.
Key drivers of personalized messaging that can be surfaced by knowing the URL
Business category (granular); market segments targeted; overall business model and persona; brands carried; key competitors; benchmarking
Locations, revenues, headcount, tech spend, affiliations and certifications
- Digital Footprin
Social media, directories, review sites and reviews
- Technology Stack
Platforms used for email, CRM, content management, digital advertising, HR, payment platforms; financial management, telecommunications
- Purchase Triggers
Need and ability to purchase your products or services
- Risk Exposure
In platforms, infrastructure, operations, privacy policies, overall security
By knowing the URL, and linking it to other data elements on an SMB, BuzzBoard is able to build rich and insightful profiles of SMBs. BuzzBoard’s SMB profiles contain over 6,000 triple-checked data elements, comprising the largest collection of SMB data in the world.
These enriched profiles provide an excellent base for personalizing high-payback marketing conversations and messages across an array of products and services.
Why it’s so hard to get Website information You might think it’s easy to get an SMB’s Website, and to accurately link it to data elements already residing in a marketer’s CRM. In fact, quite the opposite is true! The reality is that 80% of SMB records in CRMs don’t have accurate URLs – so they hit a dead end! There are several key reasons for this:
- Fragmentary and inaccurate data
Many SMB records already in CRMs are fragmentary or inaccurate to begin with. They come from many sources, including: Responses to advertising; Social media; Inbound or outbound marketing campaigns; Conferences; Third-party data providers; Affiliates and lead gen services. Although these sources typically attempt to get complete and accurate information, they rarely succeed.
- Incomplete data from third-party data vendors
Key sources of SMB data used to populate CRMs are third-party data vendors. These are highly specialized providers, digital agencies and marketing companies. However, the records in even these professional providers have a low density of accurate URL information.
- Siloed or old data elements
Too often, the disparate data elements associated with a given SMB are scattered across different silos within a B2SMB marketer. Even for a sophisticated marketer, it’s hard to bring these elements together and match them up accurately. Also, although it’s another example of “the shoemaker’s children go without shoes”, many of these data elements are out of date, further frustrating data matching and hygiene efforts.
All too often, the company operating the CRM bears much of the blame for the poor quality of data. They are too willing to go directly to marketing and sales with little more than contact information. They don’t want to spend the time or budget to enrich their SMB records to enable truly personalized marketing.
BuzzBoard’s proprietary data sources and analytics are able to identify and match SMB URLs with other data elements in a marketer’s CRM. Our experience is that we can increase the number of complete, enriched records by 2x to 3x. So, if the percentage of enriched records in a CRM is currently 20% of total records (which is what our recent analysis reveals is typical), we can increase that to 40% to 60% of total records.
This crucial importance of the SMB’s URL is the reason BuzzBoard makes SMB website identification the top priority in providing data to B2SMB marketers.
BuzzBoard and Google Cloud We believe BuzzBoard has the largest data set in the world of enriched SMB records. We now have over 20 million records on US SMBs, with another 10 million records in countries including Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand. For most of these, we have thousands of data elements that are regularly refreshed and triple-checked. For the capture, processing and storage of this massive data set, we partner with Google Cloud.
We also support and integrate smoothly with most popular CRM platforms, including Salesforce and Base CRM.
* This blog is an excerpt from our recently published White Paper: Data and Insights – The New Foundation for Relationships with SMBs, a study on the rapidly evolving B2SMB space.