Data enrichment

March 15, 2022

How to do Data Enrichment the Right Way

Written by Karli Stone

Data is the lifeblood of modern business.

The value of any business decision starts and ends with data quality.

This is why bad and/or incomplete databases can completely cripple a business, and why you need efficient data enrichment practices to stay ahead of the curve and set the standard within your market.

This article will cover the ins and outs of data enrichment and explain exactly how you can use it to append your existing data, learn more about your customers, and, ultimately, close more deals.

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What is data enrichment?

Data enrichment is the process of enhancing, refining, and improving a data set with information from additional sources. 

Data enrichment is all about contextualizing raw data to make it more useful.

But what does that really mean?

Consider for a moment a single Lego brick.

A Lego brick has unlimited potential. It could become the wall of a building, the wing of an airplane, a seat of a chair, or maybe a piece of a life-size replica of a Volkswagen Bug! Well, you get the picture…

But before it can become any of these things, it must be joined (or “enriched”) with other Lego pieces and parts. As each additional brick is combined with the first brick, its complexity increases, and so does its value.

Raw data is similar. 

Before its potential can be unlocked and before it can become helpful in a larger sales or marketing situation, it needs to be joined with other data. As the data is slowly expanded and shaped into a specific context, it becomes something so much more valuable for the organization as a whole.

This is the entire purpose of data enrichment. 

With enriched data, companies have better and deeper insights into exactly who their customers are and can use this information to personalize messaging and target ideal prospects.

What are the types of data enrichment?

There are three predominant types of data enrichment:

Demographic data enrichment

Demographic data enrichment is a process that involves gathering- you guessed it- demographic data and entering it into an existing customer dataset. 

This could be anything from marital status, income level, education, number of children, median home value, or credit score. It’s any data that helps you get a better understanding of who your customers are.

Data enriched with demographics is especially important for marketers. Personalized marketing is more important now than ever, and a database enriched with customer demographics can make all the difference in a targeted marketing campaign.

Geographic data enrichment

Geographic data enrichment, on the other hand, is enriching your consumer data with information on a contact’s location, such as postal data, customer address, ZIP codes, county lines, mapping insights, etc.

Enriching using geographic data is beneficial in many contexts. Retailers could use location data to determine their next store location and marketers could use it to decide where they might place physical advertisements or send bulk mailing for direct mail.

Behavioral data enrichment

Behavioral data enrichment applies a customer’s behavioral patterns to their customer profile. This may include past purchases, browsing behaviors, previous objections, etc. 

This type of data enrichment often involves monitoring a user’s purchasing path to identify where the key areas of interest lie for each customer. It can help companies identify which advertising campaigns work best and what they can expect from the return on investment (ROI) of each campaign.

What are the benefits of data enrichment?

Data enrichment has a number of benefits that make it an indispensable practice for data-driven companies. 

Here are a few:

Data enrichment saves money

A report by Global Databerg found that an organization with one petabyte of data spends around $650,000 annually to manage the data, but only a fraction of their data is used for any true benefit. 

When you use data enrichment practices, you don’t store information that isn’t useful to your business. Instead, you enhance the data that you already have, making your data more useful and saving you funds.

Data enrichment improves customer segmentation

Customer segmentation is the practice of separating prospective customers into different categories based on a set of shared characteristics. It leverages customer data to help sales and marketing teams create targeted and effective outbound campaigns.

When this customer data is enriched it deepens the understanding of these segments of customers, giving all your prospects a more personalized experience and boosting conversion rates.

Data enrichment fuels marketing campaigns

Your marketing campaign is only as good as the data that shapes it.

Data enrichment appends raw data and gives marketers actionable insights, data points that can be directly impactful in marketing campaigns, such as annual sales information, budget trends, behavioral patterns, user demographics, etc.

Data enrichment revamps your CRM

70.3% of B2B data decays every year. 

Without proper management, CRMs can become inaccurate and unreliable in the blink of an eye.

Data enrichment tools not only help you increase the volume of contacts in your CRM but can help you analyze your active database to find inaccuracies (e.g. duplicates, wrong emails, incorrect business titles, job changes) and fix them.

Data enrichment saves time

Data enrichment not only increases seller confidence in their organization’s database but spares them from having to spend hours manually cleansing and updating existing data. Their time can now be spent engaging with customers, qualifying leads, booking meetings, and on other revenue-generating activities.

Data Enrichment Best Practices

Choose the right data enrichment tool

First and foremost, you need to choose the data enrichment tools that are right for your specific business needs.

The data enrichment tools that are worth their weight offer accuracy, reporting, alerts, integrations, and automation.

Every B2B business will have its own unique needs when it comes to data, but these are a few non-negotiable attributes that data-driven companies should look for in their data enrichment tools.

(Psst – Keep reading to learn how Apollo.io meets all of these standards and so much more!)

Use your ideal customer profiles to enrich data

Data enrichment providers offer hundreds and thousands of data points. 

For some teams, this can be overwhelming.

The best teams use data from data enrichment providers based on their ideal customer profiles (ICPs). They use whatever data is needed to identify and engage potential best-fit customers.

This not only keeps databases more lean and structured but also helps with GDPR compliance since you’re not holding on to personal data without purpose.

Outline your data mapping

Data enrichment is not solely about identifying and sourcing data. You need to understand how different sources of data interact with each other and where to go for each data type.

Here is a brief overview of enrichment data sources:

  • First party data is the information that you collect directly from your audience or customers. It includes data from behaviors and actions, data in your CRM, subscription data, social data, customer feedback, etc.
  • Second party data is someone else’s first party data and it’s purchased directly from the company that owns it. It’s another company’s purchase history, survey response, website data, etc. that can be used to predict future patterns for your own audience.
  • Third party data is data that you buy from outside sources (like those data enrichment providers/tools we’ve been talking about!).

The best teams have a clear strategy about how these different sources interact and how to prioritize them within a data flow.

For more information on data mapping, check out this article from Hubspot.

Enrich your data across all tools

When you focus on enriching only one tool (such as Salesforce, HubSpot, or other CRMs) it can create undesirable data silos.

In an ideal world, you want every tool to share a common view of each lead and customer. This promotes positive sales and marketing alignment as well as a cleaner, more manageable CRM.

As you’re enriching data, consider how you will enrich contacts across your email, advertisements, web pages, sales calls, and analytics and reports.

Data enrichment with Apollo.io

The best data enrichment providers don’t just hand over numbers and charts.

They offer robust data tools, real-time enrichment solutions, and make it easy to have your data flow between multiple tools.

And when you use Apollo.io for data enrichment, that’s exactly what you get.

Streamlined, integrated, upleveled data across all of your tools.

Some specific data enrichment features Apollo offers include:

Key Takeaways

If you want to be more productive, more data-driven, and an all-around more impactful market leader, data enrichment is a necessity.

The right data enrichment tool paired with data enrichment best practices shape unstoppable databases and, more importantly, shape unstoppable businesses.

Apollo helps you create better personalization, align team members on critical tasks and contacts, assist users down the funnel, have confidence in your CRM, and ensure that hard-earned data remains fresh, updated, and relevant.

See what users are raving about and sign-up for a free Apollo account today!

Get started with Apollo

Karli Stone headshot Karli Stone

Karli Stone is a copy writer and content creator living in Los Angeles, CA and a proud University of Washington grad. When she’s not wordsmith-ing, you can find her biking along Santa Monica Beach, following the Seattle Seahawks, or catching a flick at her local cinema.