File exchange allows you to develop your database by multiplying your prospects by two (or more). However, as is the case for your client file, it does not suffice to exchange data in order to develop its activity. Multiplicity of sources, duplicates, channels, and heterogeneous formats… A huge data quality job is essential before profiting from it.
Enough is enough! The 8th Annual Report on the Governance of Digital Information by Serda Conseil shows that businesses are crumbling under an ever-growing volume of information. According to this barometer published in April of 2019, what is considered to be the major problem experienced by all organizations and strongly expressed by respondents in this survey (more than 400 information professionals, CIOs and Business Departments), is the “ the increasing volume of information and documents” whether received “internally” or “ externally.”
Absence of corporate strategy…
Or, selon le rapport Salesforce « State of Marketing Report » de décembre 2018 : « Le nombre médian de sources de données devrait passer de 10 en 2017 à 15 cette année, soit une augmentation de 50 % en seulement deux ans. »
La data reste pourtant au cœur de certains métiers. L’Échange électronique Professionnel (EEP) ou échange de données « BtoB » représente toujours une opportunité d’améliorer sa visibilité et son activité. Mais la principale motivation est clairement économique.
Seul bémol, les fichiers BtoB ne sont pas toujours optimisés et correctement gérés. Différentes raisons l’expliquent : manque de temps, de connaissance, pas de responsable des données, une absence de stratégie d’entreprise…Résultat : une multiplicité des sources et des formats qui génèrent souvent des attributs manquants. Celdes informations en conflit, des interlocuteurs obsolètes.
Marketing becomes more focused
As marketing becomes more focused, ubiquitous, and customer-centric, it becomes more important than ever to use specific, complete, and accurate data in order to achieve a good level of performance. Too many direct mail campaigns have high return rates because of fake or incomplete addresses. As for cross selling and upselling opportunities, they cannot be identified.
Hence the need to rely on specialized platforms able to support protocols, structure and message content in order to facilitate exchanges. It is one of Crosscut’s goals. Offered by Moskistos, it offers to host a string of pre-configured connectors that empower businesses to connect applications, devices, objects, cloud services, and B2B partners. The deployment of this agile platform, secure and fully operated in the cloud, is fast. It allows you to implement production flow in less than 6 weeks.
The exchange of BtoB files is, therefore, an interesting and indispensable practice. But be careful and methodical. The lists you exchange are notoriously prone to duplication and must be thoroughly cleaned.
Different data quality processes must be performed:
- Validation: the most basic step to benefit from “clean” data is to manually or systematically validate them according to simple business rules. For mailing lists or e-mails, run at least one system clean up to detect obvious errors (such as “avennue” for “avenue”).
- Data cleansing, ie formatting, normalization, recovery, but also dedoubling and deduplication, so that your services can correctly exploit the recovered data.
- Transcoding: when integrating a BtoB file that you have obtained (but also when switching from a home-based software to an ERP or from one ERP to another), the correspondences between fields (data zones) must be found. We sometimes refer to it as data mapping.
- The definition of exchange protocols: a protocol consists of a set of procedures and formats making the exchange of information possible.
- Improved data value by composing files with other sources.
Then, even if your data is accurately compiled, verified several times, and improved by other sources, your database will be out of date in about six months. Information is indeed a volatile commodity that depreciates rapidly. A file must be exploited very quickly after its acquisition. It is also essential to have a process of updating on a regular cycle to detect moves, changes of direction, businesses that have closed, etc.
Compliance with the GDPR
There is also the problematic issue of protecting personal data. All companies must comply with the GDPR. As this reinforces a fundamental principle: explicit consent.
Therefore, before proceeding to a file exchange, it is essential to first ensure that the personal information it may contain was obtained with the agreement of the person in question. As a reminder, data processing is an operation (or a set of operations) relating to personal data, whatever the process used (collection, recording, organization, preservation, adaptation, modification, extraction, consultation, usage, communication by broadcast transmission or any other form of provision, reconciliation).
Secondly, it is also necessary that the person be explicitly informed about the purpose of the treatments, therefore, in this case of a file exchange… The GDPR states that consent is a “clear positive act by which the concerned person expresses in a free, specific, informed and unambiguous way its agreement to the processing of its personal data “.
The text in the European regulation also states that the lack of activity or a persons’ silence, or the box checked by default by the supervisor does not constitute consent as defined by the GDPR.
These obligations, therefore, involve an extraction process so as not to provide the complete version of its file. You must filter the information to comply with the GDPR but also, for example, to not reveal precise purchasing habits of your customers.
In conclusion, the reliability of the database of the BtoB file exchange is critical. It allows you to identify and conquer new markets but also support and consolidate the sales workforce.
To be effective, a BtoB file exchange must be between two companies that have customer databases with similar targets. You would preferably select a company whose function complements yours. And do not forget to call upon a trusted third party.