Three Points About B2B Sales and Marketing Data Quality

May 6, 2020

DnB Top Barriers B2B Sales Marketing Data Quality Investment May2020As B2B businesses strive for better overall sale and marketing performance, the value of data quality is becoming more and more apparent. Indeed, a recent report [download page] from Dun & Bradstreet finds that almost three-quarters (73%) of the 500 B2B marketing and sales decisions-markers surveyed have increased their investment in data quality.

Per the report, 93% of those surveyed agreed with the definition that “data quality is data about companies and contacts you care about that is consistently structured, current, complete and accurate.” Here’s more of what respondents had to say about sales and marketing data quality.

Quality Data Boosts Effectiveness

The vast majority of respondents report that the quality of their sales and marketing data is important to their company’s overall effectiveness (94%), sales or marketing’s effectiveness (93%), campaign targeting (92%), ability to execute consistent omnichannel marketing (89%) and confidence in segmentation (87%).

Additionally, three-quarters (77%) of marketers and two-thirds (68%) of sales professionals agree that data quality has improved in the last year. This may have improved confidence levels: the majority of respondents report a high level of confidence in the state of data quality when it pertains to representing target audiences (89%), identifying target audiences (87%), providing up-to-date information (89%), consistent structure of data (85%) and completeness of data (82%). This confidence is despite other research indicating that almost 30% of customer or prospect data is considered not completely accurate.

Data Quality Investment Under-Realized in Some Areas

Somewhat surprisingly, given that personalization and account-based marketing (ABM) top the list of strategies B2B marketers want to explore this year, the report found that relevant, meaningful personalization (7%) and ABM (7%) were both ranked low in terms of activities that are most positively impacted by data quality investments.

In fact, only 27% included ABM as one of their top three choices of activities where data quality has had a positive impact. This seemingly conflicts with earlier research from Dun & Bradstreet that found a full 88% of marketers believing that quality data was key to executing an effective ABM strategy. It may be that while data quality is considered important to ABM, marketers have yet to see a positive impact on that end.

As regards personalization, data quality has long been a challenge, with many marketers feeling that their B2C counterparts have better quality data than they do.

That said, respondents cited sales prospecting and closing, generating customer insights/intelligence based on analytics, and campaign execution as the initiatives that have been positively impacted by data quality investment.

Investing in Data Quality

The investment in data quality is expected to continue in 2020, with 3 in 4 (75%) respondents reporting that they expect to increase their data quality across their company and 9 in 10 agreeing that this increased investment will lead to improved sales and marketing performance.

Nonetheless, there are still obstacles that stand in the way to making a greater investment. When asked to name their three most significant barriers to increasing data quality investment, respondents were most likely to point to cost (37%), better ROI with other initiatives (27%), a lack of understanding of data quality (27%), a lack of results evidenced (25%) and an absence of support from key decision-makers (24%).

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Results are based on a survey of 500 sales and marketing decision-makers from companies based in the US, Canada and the UK. Respondents are from B2B or both B2B and B2C companies.

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