Why B2B Data Is Holding Back Your Marketing Efforts
Most marketers would agree that data is a crucial part of an effective B2B marketing strategy. But while it is a valuable marketing asset, there’s still a serious need for quality, actionable data that can help drive marketing strategy.
B2B marketing is only as effective as the underlying data that powers it.
Just look at the numbers:
- 80% of marketing teams blame data quality for ineffective demand gen processes (Demand Metric Report)
- Only 27% of executives are highly satisfied with their organization’s efforts to harness insights from data programs (Forbes Insights, 2016)
- Only 40% of surveyed executives believe their data is highly accurate (Forbes Insights, 2016)
So, what do these stats tell us?
B2B marketers are still far from having the 360-degree view of accounts and contacts needed to drive marketing effectiveness.
Assessing The B2B Data Landscape
The good news is that data volume and availability has exploded and will continue to grow. There are few reasons driving this phenomenon:
- Buyers are interacting with a larger number of digital touchpoints across various channels
- Marketing systems like CRMs and marketing automation platforms have become more sophisticated in tracking customer touchpoints and collecting customer data
- There has been a rapid increase in data vendors specializing in B2B data
But while data volume continues to grow at an exponential rate, marketers are increasingly running into issues being caused by data clutter. More often than not, B2B marketing data is fragmented, incomplete, and inaccurate.
Why B2B Data Misses The Mark
There are 3 main reasons marketers are still struggling with B2B data today:
1) Data collected is inaccurate
A lot of data sitting in CRMs today is incorrect..
On average, only 70-75 percent of CRM data is accurate
There are a handful of reasons affecting the integrity of B2B data:
- Prospects notoriously provide the wrong contact information
- Leading third-party data providers offer conflicting information about the same company
- Employee turnover is at an all-time high
- Businesses grow, consolidate, and move at unprecedented rates
2) Data provides only a limited view of companies and contacts
Today marketers and data vendors rarely have a complete view of a company or contact. Why?
- Marketers’ CRM fill rates are low, missing many key attributes needed to successfully engage prospects
- Data vendors find a lack of consistency among data points collected for the same business attribute, limiting the amount of attributes that they can make available
As a result, even with the highest quality data vendors, marketers can only expect a given company or contact to have two-thirds of its essential firmographic and contact data points available. Without the complete picture, marketers end up chasing the wrong prospects with the wrong content.
3) Data decays within months
Even for companies that can devote significant resources to data management, data goes stale quickly.
Based on average data decay rates, after only 3 months a database with 10,000 businesses will have the following data outdated:
- 210 phone numbers will disconnect – businesses move or close
- 417 phone numbers will change – phone numbers are updated or reassigned between businesses
- 592 business addresses will become invalid – companies move or go out of business
- 757 contacts won’t connect – contacts move to other jobs or are no longer reachable
- 252 emails will become invalid – emails become invalid after contacts move or businesses cease operations
But all these challenges stem from one overarching issue: There’s a lack of a single ‘source of truth’ in B2B marketing.
Marketers Lack A Source Of Truth For B2B Data
B2B data is usually siloed or fragmented across the marketing stack with no single source of truth where marketers can get the latest, most accurate information about their prospects and customers.
But developing a source of truth is no simple task either.
Besides a large volume of data, you also need diverse data sources that validate and increase confidence in that data. More importantly, it requires having deterministic data, such as data on actual interactions between businesses like responses to marketing and sales activity, to validate that companies are still operating, that contacts still work there, and that other business attributes are in fact correct.
This lack of a source of truth for B2B data makes it difficult to break through today’s data quality ceiling. But we believe that we have found a breakthrough for B2B data – Customer Network Effects.
Stay tuned for the next post from our Director of Product, Amogh, where he discusses the idea behind Customer Network Effects and how it addresses the B2B data problem.
You can also download our Customer Network Effects Report for the inside scoop.