EducationTalk Radio: The Importance of Using Quality Education Data in your Marketing

Recorded on September 7th. Listen Now.

Summary of Discussion with Larry Jacobs and MCH’s VP of Sales, Larry Buchweitz

What’s happening in Today’s Sales and Marketing environment?

There has been a really big shift in the B2B marketplace. There is a strong need to get a steady flow of quality leads and build a strong pipeline for the sales team. In order to do this adequately, they need to gain insight on the behaviors of people that work at the schools and districts. They also need the demographic attributes of these institutions to get important data points like funding, size and location.  The age old problem is, sales people should be selling and not entering information into their CRM.

Marketing has a really tough job. They are expected to drive leads to the sales people and are responsible for building lasting relationships with customers and prospects. They have a need to interpret the data from a variety of sources to be able to qualify these leads.  Although there are technological solutions that are helping them, there is still a fair amount of work left to do.

How has the data environment changed over the past 30 years?

The major change has been the different channels added to the marketing mix.  In the past it was very one dimensional.  The marketing landscape has changed due to technology, email started about 15 years ago and now we have social media.  That is where the complexity comes in. How are marketing teams managing all of this along with the variety of data sources?

The way schools plan and buy has changed dramatically over the years as well.  It’s become a little bit more decentralized and the federal along with the new funding rules that are coming out – it becomes problematic. How do you get your message out to all the different decision-makers?  There is always more than one decision-maker from the district level all the way down to the school building level.  For example, there are influencers, principals play a big role in elementary schools, classroom teachers tend to make decisions on what apps to buy for the classroom.  Larger purchases are decided by Administrators and principals.

What is the expectation of the Educator in regards to getting information about products and services?

It has really changed because the funding rules changed. For example the rules for ESSA have changed dramatically. They will need to focus on other criteria like test scores. How a school district is funded is still primarily what drives how and what they are buying. They have a lot less money for professional development; many educators will have to use their own money for these programs. This creates more of a challenge for marketers.

The marketplace has become much more granular.  It has become more complicated and many more variables involved than compared to the past.  Education companies will now have help and train educators on how the product or service they are using will achieve certain goals set for the type of funding they are using. The data marketers are using has to be granular to support this new trend.

What is Data Velocity and how does MCH’s Datalocity help?

Data velocity has two parts – one part is data coming in quickly – how fast can you get changes to your data. We know that 24% of educators evolve and change over a year.  MCH has developed a technology that monitors over 75,000 schools and over 4 million educators on monthly basis. We are able to verify data points like job function and email addresses.  Also we  add new data and delete the outdated data.  The velocity that we are adding the data in has sped up dramatically.  Especially this time of year,  with the new school year, there are a lot of changes going on.

The second part of the velocity is how quickly we can deliver the data to our customers.  The quicker our customers get the data, the sooner they can apply the new data attributes to their marketing programs and CRM systems.  In turn, this positively affects the educators and Administrators – they will become more productive and get the correct information at the right time to make informed decisions to support faculty and students.

With traditional direct mailing, the school secretary was the gatekeeper. But now that there is none, there are millions of contacts to reach directly. You have to get creative,  that is where the segmentation and attributes becomes key.  Allow your marketing team to create customized programs and craft the appropriate messaging.

What is Data as a Service?

Developing platforms where people can get data on demand. Datalocity is data on Demand, you can access it on your desktop and it will automatically feed your contact management system (CRM).  IT departments are always a big road block for many companies. Datalocity was just launched for salesforce. How does it work? It will ingest quality education data directly into your salesforce application.  It will standardize the data automatically and get weekly feeds of new data, taking the IT hurdle out of the way.  We plan to roll out other Marketing automation systems in the future. Marketo is planned for the next roll out and it will be ready by the end of the year.

MCH has created the education sector’s first plug and play program to integrate data into CRM and automation platforms, increasing data velocity. DataLocity, makes it as simple as pushing a button. Save time, money and resources while ingesting quality education data into your CRM or marketing automation platform. Schedule a Personalized Demo.

Contact MCH for more information. Or call, 800-776-6373 to speak to a MCH Team Member.