This year S2W Media is celebrating ten successful years in business. The company launched in 2012 with an idea and a passion for positively impacting the B2B lead generation industry. Puneet Shukla and S2W Media’s Co-founder Sidharth Pethe realized that the lack of quality B2B contact data was negatively impacting not just their work but the work of sellers and marketers worldwide. What they knew then, and is still true today, is that to provide the highest quality solutions in the market, S2W Media would need to build a party database and maintenance ecosystem that would support the needs of the constantly evolving B2B sales and marketing landscape.
We interviewed Mr. Shukla to learn how he identified these data gaps, dealt with the challenges of building an evergreen database, and identified and implemented solutions that would help B2B sales and marketing teams. The company's foundation was built with a core mission to help businesses acquire the customers that are essential to their growth, and to accomplish that, we needed to start with healthy data.
Mr. Shukla, in his interview, stated,
"The mission of S2W Media has always been to help businesses grow. We've been fortunate to work with some of the world's most innovative organizations over the last ten years, and we have successfully helped our clients drive revenue through our full-funnel solutions. These accomplishments would not have been possible without our teams' hard work and dedication where data quality is concerned."
According to Mr. Shukla, data research and quality have always been crucial components of a company's revenue growth and critical in sustaining a competitive advantage. He said, "From day one at S2W Media, data research has been organized to collect information relevant to our customers' target markets. A data set, big or small, must undergo various stages of collection, enrichment, updating, and validation. All of this valuable information has to be digitally collected and validated for our client’s campaigns to be successful."
On the topic of the data gap that was the impetus for launching S2W Media, Mr. Shukla said, "High-quality data was the biggest challenge for sales and marketing teams then. As a seller, my work became more difficult if I didn’t have the correct information. It may seem obvious now, but when I was a seller, we focused on volume, not necessarily high value. Without the right demographics and firmographics, I would waste time trying to generate business from insufficient data. The data we were receiving from our suppliers was highly inaccurate."
Mr. Shukla added, “When we became aware of this gap, this opportunity in the market, we decided to launch S2W Media and started building our first-party database to eliminate these challenges."
"Since our data was built through deep research, validation, and QA, it produced a higher-quality lead. Focusing on the data collection and maintenance process could generate more qualified leads, a stronger pipeline, and more revenue.”
Mr. Shukla is known to have stated that "First-Party data is invaluable!" on multiple occasions. With the specter of a cookieless future and last year's changes to mobile device tracking, almost every B2B sales and marketing team knows the importance of having party data. What Mr. Shukla realized in 2012 is that lead and demand generation providers needed to prioritize data to provide scalable and future-proof value to their clients.
"When we started our business, Sidharth and I handled sales, campaign management, and deliveries. At that time, we were also sourcing data. We chose not to move forward with any data providers because the data they were offering was of low quality, and it negatively affected the lead quality within our campaigns. To remedy this, we started building and verifying our database with the help of various tools available at the time.”
Mr. Shukla quickly realized that to build a large-scale, verified database; he would need to expand the S2W Media team. "Initially,I trained the team members on where to find data, how to save data, and how to verify that data. We closely monitor every process step, from data collection to validation. Then and now, we make sure to verify every contact we store. For the last ten years, we have made it a point of pride that we will not provide any inaccurate or unverified information."
"We have since achieved 98% data accuracy by properly integrating and optimizing data structuring and verification processes. Building our database this way has enabled us to provide a high-value service for our clients resulting in repeat business and gaining long-term client relationships.”
As the industry slowly shifts from second and third-party to first-party data, every marketer and seller must adjust their strategies and implement a first-party data approach to drive revenue successfully.
When looking to the future of lead and demand generation, Mr. Shukla stated,
"Owning first-party data has given us an advantage over competitors in the market because many lead and demand generation providers still rely on third-party data sources or outsourced campaign fulfillment. This lack of ownership of the data or the processes used to collect it creates a real point of failure that can have negative downstream impacts. We have removed that weakness and, as a result, have a strong record of providing quality. I've learned from our client feedback that our data sets us apart."
Mr. Shukla said, "We're proud of the difference we've made for our clients. This trust results from our sincere effort to deliver our quality commitments for each campaign. The company's open mind set and progressive nature have enabled us to embrace new technology, process, andquality standardizations swiftly." He added, "Now, on our anniversary, we reflect on how far we've come and are even more inspired to continue helping businesses grow. We're proud of the difference we've made for our clients and are excited to see what the future holds for us.”
As the B2B industry slowly shifts from second and third-party to first-party data, every marketer and seller must adjust their strategies and implement a first-party data approach to drive revenue successfully. Learn more about how S2W Media has always made first-party data collection and maintenance a priority.