Customer Story: How Sophos Avoids Processing Dirty Data

dirty data sophos

Modern business demands a lot from professionals. Systems like Eloqua work wonders to lighten the load, but sometimes they need a little help—especially where dirty data is involved. We work to provide the additional boost Eloqua needs to keep our customers in business. Here’s how 4Thought’s suite of Eloqua apps improved lead generation for Sophos.

About Sophos

Sophos provides comprehensive cybersecurity solutions for almost 400,000 businesses in more than 150 countries. Based out of the UK, the company has four other locations around the world. Their customer list includes such diverse clients as the Diocese of Brooklyn, the Washakie County School District, Del Monte, People’s Independent Bank, and many more. Sophos also offers a family version of their cybersecurity software for individual subscribers. But whether Sophos is marketing their products and services to fortune 500 companies or a local family, they rely on lead generation as much as any other company. And unfortunately, customers aren’t making their job easy.

Problem #1: Dirty Data

Sophos uses multiple free trials offers to generate new customer leads from anyone willing to fill out a short customer-facing form. There was certainly no shortage of interested parties submitting these forms. According to a 2017 survey, most B2B companies report that 66% or 2 out of 3 free trial users end up converting once their trial expires. Quality leads through free trials were and continue to be a valuable asset, to companies as a whole and to Sophos in particular.

However, much of the information submitted in these forms were unusable. People might provide an invalid email address or even list their name as “Mickey Mouse”. Far too much of the data coming from these forms fell into this category of “dirty data”. And if it wasn’t caught in time, the unusable information made its way to the sales team, who then had to spend additional time sorting genuine contacts from tire kickers.

Receiving fake data is surprisingly common, especially in the privacy and security fields. “People are exceptionally apprehensive about giving their personal details because they are in the security space,” said Corey Lysohirka, Senior Marketing Operations Manager at Sophos. “In our industry, people are less likely to provide us with their personal information.” While expected, the influx of unusable information was certainly a problem.

The Sophos team did their best to isolate dirty data once it entered their system. Their Eloqua setup included nearly 400 rules to locate bad information but lacked a straightforward and automated method to delete it.

Problem #2: Poor Lead Flow

Like many companies, Sophos works hard to promote its products and services at public events like trade shows and webinars. These marketing events can result in many new contacts and potential leads. However, contacts from events require near-immediate follow-ups to prevent the conversation from going stale. Sophos’ lead processing system segmented the contact data in Eloqua and marked them to be processed as leads, but that’s where it stopped. Eloqua’s Program Canvas only allows contacts to enter workflows at midnight each night. This caused lengthy delays in getting sales-ready leads into the sales team’s hands and caused the leads to go cold. Sophos needed a solution.

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The Solution: Data Filtering & Lead Acceleration Apps from 4Thought Marketing

Corey first noticed 4Thought Marketing while examining the Eloqua cloud app catalog. Impressed with the range of apps and capabilities he saw, he requested that Sophos get in touch with them. From there it was a simple process to find the right apps to solve the problem.

4Thought has developed a suite of apps that extend Eloqua’s functionality and further streamline the marketing process. The first app considered was the Contact Garbage Indicator. This app screens every contact entering Eloqua and singles out potential bad data. This bad data is then held for manual review to prevent false positives. Once the data has been reviewed, the Contact Garbage Indicator empties its data storage and continues to filter incoming contacts.

The Contact Garbage Indicator works in tandem with another app from 4Thought Marketing, the Contact Deleter App. This app does exactly what its name implies—it purges bad contacts routed into it. The Sophos team is especially fond of this one. The team simply has to drop the object into the canvas and then, as Corey puts it, “You just route every garbage contact record that you want to be deleted out of Eloqua to that object and the app simply deletes the garbage record.”

But while both of these apps root out bad data that has already made its way into the system, legitimate customer contacts still need attention as potential leads. Sophos uses the Contact Cloud Feeder app to accelerate lead flow in Campaign Canvas. Instead of having to wait for overnight processes to transfer lead data between programs, the team set up the app to check for newly added contacts every 5 minutes. The app then begins processing, getting leads into the hands of sales reps faster. The process is fully automatic and fits right into their current Eloqua setup. No need to refresh segments, and no need to wait overnight for programs to refresh!

Results: Improved Quality & Processing Speed

With their new setup, Sophos’ data intake has never been better. The Contact Cloud Feeder App kicks off the cycle of processing incoming contacts as leads. The Contact Garbage Indicator then examines each lead for possible dirty data and filters it out. Finally, the Contact Deleter removes the bad data from the system entirely. With all the administrative work done automatically, Sophos is free to focus on generating and nurturing new leads without worrying about bad contacts.

The Sophos team is also exploring live email validation. When someone fills out a customer-facing form, the website will quickly verify that the domain for the provided email address actually exists, otherwise, it will not allow the form to submit. In the long term, Sophos plans to use this validation system to further filter bad data.

Write Your Own Success Story

Sophos has managed to drastically improve its data quality and lead flow with 4Thought Marketing’s suite of Eloqua apps. Dirty data is not a problem unique to them, however. Virtually any company could find itself dealing with bad contacts. Why not give our apps a try and streamline your marketing team’s workday? Contact us today for more information.


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