Data points become knowledge when they are abstracted, cross-referenced and linked to other data points. Massini Group uses proprietary codification, data overlays, matching and statistical extrapolation to build marketing reference databases into strategic marketing and sales assets.
Researchers in human cognition, or the way that people think, note that intelligence is based on the number of associations, or linkages between basic facts that a person is able to make related to a specific subject.
The same conclusion can be applied to sales and marketing data. Unfortunately, many companies depend on the functionality of their CRM, SFA, or ERP system to cause this to happen – however, it is highly unlikely to occur without concerted effort and constant behind the scenes processing.
Turning marketing or sales data into actionable knowledge is dependent on a few fundamental data manipulations :
- de-duplication and consolidation designed to eliminate data dispersion caused by multiple versions or copies of accounts, companies, sites and contacts ;
- highly accurate matching as in matching responses to contacts, contacts to sites, sites to companies and companies to accounts - failure to do so will result in an incomplete picture of the situation ;
- appending rich sources of external data to the working data set via matching ;
- codification in which SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) codes or titles are uniformly and accurately mapped to a set of meaningful values that can be used for selection criteria ;
- abstraction in which multiple sources and representations of data are determined to be the same and aligned and consolidated - this especially applies to questions and answers asked via hundreds of campaigns or even the general messaging direction and relationship stage of each campaign in a large set of campaigns ;
- extrapolation in which known data on complete records is used to infer and fill in missing data on other records.
Massini Group refers to a single consolidated database that is subject to these types of processes as a marketing reference database.
Although a CRM or SFA tool can be used as a marketing reference database, best practices suggest that it be separate from the system that manages the daily interactions of the sales force.
Sometimes referred to as a double funnel model, the practice is organized so that marketing campaigns and lead generation programs work on the marketing reference database and only "promote" accounts, companies, sites and contacts to the SFA or CRM once it has be confirmed that a bona fide opportunity exists. This methodology is useful in focusing sales people only on the targets that are ready for their attention while marketing focuses on building awareness and conviction and qualifying leads.