When I talk to digital marketers these days, many already understand the value of B2B contact data. They’ve seen how marketing data has opened the door to previously unreached audiences and they want in. But determining a strategy and the right data provider can be complicated, especially in this crowded landscape.
Recently, Forrester shared insight on B2B marketing data providers and how the market has evolved. Looking at the long list of providers in the report (OMI is included, too), it’s clear the volume and value of B2B marketing data is increasing – as are the opportunities to leverage data in new ways.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, rather companies considering a data provider must carefully weigh the options. From my perspective, here are 5 things to consider in this new data landscape.
It’s an exciting time for digital marketers, and many of the hottest trends hinge on data. When it comes to data, we’re not just acquiring contacts and blasting ads anymore. Marketing data is being segmented, analyzed and retooled in innovative new ways that enable marketers to reach new audiences and engage prospects in more relevant, timely ways.
Today, data can be woven together to form a full view of your audience or prospective customers. And it’s being done at scale through new data solutions such as identity graphs, which integrate data from multiple sources. The resulting integrated data can be used to create anonymized customer profiles for real individual consumers, allowing marketers to serve ads digitally. Sellers can then use the identity graph to build custom audiences with offline and online prospect attributes – including firmographic data – and then take the anonymized IDs to a demand-side platform. The result is a 360-degree view to better identify the right prospects for offers and engage them more effectively.
The Forrester report organizes providers into segments based on the type and variety of their data offering, with a specific category for behavioral data solutions. This is a rising category for data and for good reason: these types of solutions provide insights on customer behavior and can be used for intent monitoring.
Forrester notes that even “specialist” vendors can offer a range of data types including firmographic company data and demographic contact data. Additionally, data providers may offer a suite of complementary services. At OMI, for example, we’re known for our quality contact data (particularly SMB data), but we also offer vertical market data along with data cleansing services. Because we are so meticulous with ensuring our data accuracy, we’ve built a large suppression database of “invalid” data. We then use that list to identify inaccurate records in a client’s database and amend or replace it with the correct data, when possible.
When evaluating options, consider things like your business size, function, industry, budget, capacity, as well as geographic location. As the Forrester report shows, there are many providers and many specialties. At OMI, our best-known specialization is SMB: we maintain one of the largest SMB databases with more than 50 million contacts for reaching this valuable target market.
These days, many successful marketers are finding they need data from multiple sources to get campaigns firing on all cylinders. Even those with significant databases are looking to more than one outside source to round out their prospect lists or fill in the missing pieces of their contacts’ profile with new data such as firmographics or matching business and personal contact data.
It’s worth noting: a discount data provider may sound enticing by offering a large quantity of contacts at a low price, but it’s not worth the effort when your bounces are through the roof. Not only that, poor data quality could also cost you in the long-run due to reputation damage of your email servers. Do your due diligence and save yourself the hassle by making sure your provider guarantees their data validity. As a reference, 95% email contact validity for 30 days is a good industry standard.
The B2B data market is maturing and the data it is producing is growing in quality and importance to marketers. Digital transformation has made it physically and logistically possible for businesses to do more by streamlining processes, increasing opportunities and removing limitations that once slowed growth. And marketing data is playing an important role in the game.
Contact us today to learn more about how OMI’s contact data can open the door to new business growth.
Outward Media’s proven data cleansing services and targeted, accurate B2B data can enable you to achieve better digital marketing ROI and, ultimately, convert more prospects into customers. Read about our innovative approach to ABM account targeting here.