Media Integration Without Data Governance: A Bad Idea

se-coin-sorter_largeReading through scores of 2015 B2B Marketing predictions, there are a few consistent themes.  Programmatic buying is now officially the accepted practice.  Predictive analytics companies like 6Sense, Prelytix and Lattice Engines continue to bring their intelligence to the mainstream.  And lead-generating media companies are increasingly dangling their ability to directly inject prospect data into client marketing tech stacks (marketing automation and CRM systems) as a valuable new option.  I find this last theme particularly important, and in many ways dangerous if not properly executed.

You’re likely thinking: If a media company offers to free my time and resources by automating lead delivery into my nurture tracks, why shouldn’t I dive in head first?  What could go wrong?

While marketing system integration has many benefits (increased lead velocity, greater efficiency, saved resources, etc.), there are numerous reasons why marketers must be diligent when selecting to have media vendors directly inject data into their MAS.

Such media-MAS integrations that allow direct lead injection often don’t come with the highly important data quality filtration processes that answer questions such as:

  • Is this a Mickey Mouse email? Does the phone number work?
  • Are all campaign parameters met? If US only, are all leads US only?
  • Is every lead delivered on my “named account” campaign an actual named account?
  • Did the lead vendor deliver the same prospect data multiple times?

If there isn’t a front end system to govern the delivered leads, it’s not worth driving unknowns into your clean and well running systems (MA and CRM). This is why sales often exclaims “These leads suck!” 

A good integration between media and marketing systems should act like an automated change sorter and counter at your local bank.  Think of it this way:

  1. Counterfeit or foreign currency (I’m looking at you Canadian dollar) is spit back out for me to deal with as I see fit (return to vendor in exchange for what you requested in the first place).

  2. You can load multiple sources of change (media vendors) – piggy banks, mason jars, even a five-gallon water bubbler bottle into this machine and it routes just the same. It’s source agnostic – it focuses on the change.

  3. The process is automated.  Nickels go with nickels, quarters go to quarters.  The quarter is the sales-ready lead and the nickel is the marketing-qualified lead.  Automated routing to where it needs to go.

If you bought a coin sorter that simply threw coins into sleeves without inspecting for authenticity or denomination, it would take an incredible amount of time to effectively valuate and use the coins. Similarly direct lead injection integrations from media vendors are a disaster waiting to happen if they don’t also contain a data governance layer (which, fortunately, are becoming more common place among the best lead providers). Without this governance layer between generated lead and your marketing systems, you’ll find yourself only accelerating problems and having created an environment that’s more of a challenge to undo.  

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