Matthew GibbonsLead Data & Tech Writer
- June 1, 2023
- 7 minute read
- Matthew is a marketing expert focusing on the SEO & martech spaces. He has written over 500 marketing guides and video scripts for the WebFX YouTube channel. When he’s not striving to put out some fresh blog posts and articles, he’s usually fueling his Tolkien obsession or working on miscellaneous creative projects.
How should you unify lead data? Here are four tips:
- Use a data centralization tool
- Clean your data
- Automate the data migration process
- Use lead scoring
Read on to find out more!
Imagine that you liked to cook, but you stored all your ingredients in different rooms throughout the house. So, whenever you wanted to cook something, you’d have to do a tour of the whole house just to get what you needed. Salt? In the dining room. Flour? In the bedroom. Vegetable oil? In the garage.
That approach doesn’t make much sense, right? It forces you to waste time and energy running around the house every time you want to make something. It would be so much easier to just move all those ingredients into one location — the kitchen — so you have easy access to all of it when you’re cooking.
It’s the same way with your lead data. As you work on driving your marketing and sales, you gather first-party data about your leads, which you can use to optimize your campaigns to be more successful.
But if that data is spread across multiple platforms, it gets a bit tricky. That’s where lead data unification comes in.
In this blog post, we’ll explain what lead data unification means and why it matters, as well as how to unify lead data. Keep reading to find out more. Then subscribe to Revenue Weekly — our email newsletter — for more helpful marketing tips!
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What is lead data unification?
Lead data unification is the process of gathering data about your leads from various sources and bringing all that data together in a single, centralized location.
Why is unifying lead data important?
The main reason to unify your lead data goes back to the example we used a moment ago with the cooking ingredients. When your data is spread out across many different sources, you end up wasting so much time and effort jumping between those sources to view it all.
Also, it’s very difficult to thoroughly analyze your data that way. You can’t really combine data from different sources into one analytics report because that data is formatted differently and stored in different locations.
That’s the reason for data unification. When you bring all your lead data together in one place, it becomes far easier to access it. Additionally, you can easily combine that data in your reports and compare data points from different sources.
On top of everything else, having your data unified in one location makes it easy for your various customer-facing teams — marketing, sales, and customer service — to stay in sync with one another, as opposed to all of them using their own datasets that may not line up with one another.
What makes lead data unification challenging?
Unifying lead data isn’t always an easy process. There are definitely challenges that come with it.
For one, you typically end up having to sort through various inconsistencies and duplications in the data. Your marketing and sales teams might both have data on certain leads, for instance, and you don’t want that data to be in your unified platform twice.
Also, time investment is a concern for many companies. There’s no doubt about it — unifying your data does take time and effort. It’s a process you have to be willing to commit to. That said, the time spent unifying your data will still be far less than the time you would spend trying to hunt down different data points across multiple platforms every time you make a report.
How to unify lead data: 4 tips
After reading through the challenges in the last section, you might be unsure about unifying your lead data. But don’t worry — there are solutions to all of those challenges! Below, we’ll cover four different tips for how to unify lead data:
Keep reading to learn more about each one!
1. Use a data centralization tool
Data unification is about bringing all your lead data together in one place. But what is that place? That’s the first thing you need to figure out when you start the data unification process.
There are several different types of tools that allow you to centralize your data. When it comes to lead data, specifically, it’s best to choose either a customer data platform (CDP) or a customer relationship management (CRM) tool. Both of these tools are optimized for gathering, storing, and sorting data about customers and leads.
If you’re unsure of the difference between CDPs and CRMs, the main one is that while CDPs exist mainly to help you learn about your audience, CRMs go a step further by helping you use that data to better engage and communicate with that audience.
Whichever one you choose, you need to find a platform where the magic of data unification will happen.
2. Clean your data
A moment ago, we looked at how data unification can be a struggle because of inconsistency and redundancy issues. Those issues can make your datasets rather messy. But the solution to this problem is to clean your data before you unify it.
What is data cleaning, though? Basically, it’s where you go through your data and remove any errors, inconsistencies, or duplicates that you find. Often, tools like CRMs will provide features to help you do this. By getting rid of the errors early on, you can avoid any messes after you combine all your data in the platform.
If more than one dataset contains the same information, be sure to account for that as well — you don’t want the same data in there twice, so make sure you only include it once in your unified dataset.
3. Automate the data migration process
Once your data is cleaned and ready to go, the next step is to migrate it all over to your chosen platform. If you do this manually, it will be a long and tedious process. Plus, when copy over data for a long enough time, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll make mistakes at some point.
You can fix both of those problems by simply automating the process. In a lot of cases, your chosen data platform can do this for you. By having your CDP or CRM migrate the data automatically, not only do you free yourself up to spend time on other things, but you also avoid the possibility of human error.
4. Use lead scoring
Finally, don’t stop at just unifying your lead data. Part of the reason for unifying it to begin with is so that you can score your leads. If you’re not familiar with lead scoring, it’s where you assign a numerical value to each lead based on how likely they are to convert.
By scoring leads, you can more easily prioritize which ones to focus your marketing on. You can start with the ones you know have a better chance of converting, turning them into customers before focusing on the ones you’re less sure about.
Of course, you can’t do this very well if your leads aren’t unified in a single platform, which is why lead data unification has to come first.
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Nutshell and MarketingCloudFX are perfect for unifying lead data
If you’re looking for a good CRM in which to unify your lead data, we’ve got just the tool for you — Nutshell. Nutshell is a CRM equipped with features like sales automation, advanced reporting, and customer segmentation. Plus, it comes with a top-tier customer service team to help you through any questions or issues you have.
Plus, by partnering with WebFX and using our marketing tool, MarketingCloudFX, you get several free seats in Nutshell! You can also get our help optimizing your marketing based on the insights you uncover by analyzing your lead data.
Matthew is a marketing expert focusing on the SEO & martech spaces. He has written over 500 marketing guides and video scripts for the WebFX YouTube channel. When he’s not striving to put out some fresh blog posts and articles, he’s usually fueling his Tolkien obsession or working on miscellaneous creative projects.
WebFX is a full-service marketing agency with 1000+ client reviews and a 4.9-star rating on Clutch! Find out how our expert team and revenue-accelerating tech can drive results for you! Learn more
- What is Lead Data Unification?
- Why is Unifying Lead Data Important?
- What Makes Lead Data Unification Challenging?
- How to Unify Lead Data: 4 Tips
- 1. Use a Data Centralization Tool
- 2. Clean Your Data
- 3. Automate the Data Migration Process
- 4. Use Lead Scoring
- Nutshell and MarketingCloudFX Are Perfect for Unifying Lead Data