Whatever your goals are when it comes to marketing – whether it’s lead generation, revenue building, customer retention or something else – the reality is, you won’t get too far without good data behind your initiatives.
A new report by Dun & Bradstreet reinforces the importance of data quality and shows where marketers seem to be having trouble. My top takeaways include:
- The struggle continues: While B2B organizations are turning to data to increase revenues, improve performance and grow their businesses, professionals taking part in the survey acknowledged their limitations with regard to leveraging quality data to achieve these goals. For example, the vast majority (89%) believe data quality drives desired B2B sales and marketing campaigns, but surprisingly, half of them don’t have confidence in the quality of their own data.
- Lack of quality data is misaligning sales and marketing: Significant data challenges -- such as data accuracy and completeness, data acquisition and budget allocation toward data management and improvement -- are creating rifts between sales and marketing. Up to 19% of those surveyed rated the challenge of aligning sales and marketing data as “extremely difficult,” while 37% rated it as “very difficult.” Only 8% rated this challenge as “not difficult at all.”
- Data is constantly changing: While most B2B organizations struggle to leverage their data, what’s compounding the problem further is the fact that data is in a constant state of flux. According to the report, in the next year 2% of all corporate addresses, 5% of telephone numbers and 3% of CEOs will change. In the next hour alone, 211 businesses will move, 429 business telephone numbers will change (or be disconnected), 743 new businesses will open and 284 CEO or owner changes will occur.
- The importance of quality data has never been higher: As companies recognize the inherent hindrances and problems in low-quality data, the desire to do better has only increased. In 2016, 75% of those surveyed said quality data was “important” for driving integrated sales and marketing campaigns. That amount jumped to 80% in 2017 and now 89% in 2018 – with 63% of these surveyed saying quality data is “extremely important.”
- Targeting and segmenting remain crucial to reaching new customers: Successful marketers know the more relevant their campaigns and content, the more likely it will be engaged by their target customers. The top ways B2B marketers segment their target buyers include by geography (71%), industry vertical (59%), account specific (50%), online activity (48%) and company size (41%). Unfortunately, only half of those surveyed were confident in their ability to segment their database.
What’s the solution to today’s data quality challenge? In addition to understanding and recognizing the problem, I recommend making a commitment to dedicating time and resources to the task. Next, assess your overall data health and from there, take baby steps and perhaps focus on improving one data-driven marketing initiative at a time.
Use Reputable Third-Party Data Cleansing Services
When it comes to email data, at OMI we continue to stress how critical it is to pay attention to email list cleanliness and hygiene. Recognizing that this task can be overwhelming for many of our clients, especially when you consider the high volume of email data that today’s businesses use, we offer a data cleansing service. Recently we profiled how one of our customers, a Fortune 10 firm, is benefiting from that service. After cleaning 35 million records for the firm, we were able to improve data validity and accuracy by an astounding 37%. You can find more information in our case study here.
While data quality is a challenge for almost everyone in business today, hopefully there is some comfort in knowing that the struggle is real. Fortunately, there are partners like OMI who stand ready and able to provide an answer.
Outward Media’s accurate, targeted email data can enable you to achieve better email marketing ROI by targeting your best prospects – including top-level executives -- and, ultimately, converting more prospects into customers. Take a look at our case studies to find out more.