The marketing landscape is changing, and marketers are well aware that data analysis skills are becoming increasingly important. But the ability to extract and act upon relevant insights depends on the health of the data itself – the old garbage in, garbage out adage. And once again, research suggests that marketers’ data hygiene isn’t optimal. A recent survey from Demand Metric indicates that just 36% of executives rate their sales and marketing data as being “clean” (32%) or “very clean” (4%), while 37% rate it “dirty” (29%) or “very dirty” (6%).
In this case, the top level of cleanliness refers to error-free data that is not missing any key information fields.
The study follows another one from the beginning of this year, in which NetProspex found almost all B2B companies to suffer from contact databases that are “unreliable” (64%) or “questionable” (34%). More recently, just 16% of B2B marketers responding to a CMO Council survey indicated that their customer data is accurate, reliable and comprehensive.
So how are executives inputting their data into their systems? Manual data entry appears to be the most common way among the Demand Metric respondents (the majority of whom are B2B-focused), although the methods used are somewhat dependent on where the data resides. CRM systems – where most respondents’ data resides – are most frequently updated manually, though many also import lead data captured at trade shows and directly integrate lead capture forms from their websites. Not surprisingly, respondents using marketing automation systems to handle their data most often directly integrate with lead capture forms on their websites.
About the Data: The Demand Metric 2013 Sales & Marketing Data Quality Survey was administered online from October 15-31, 2013. During the period, 227 responses were collected, of which 207 were qualified and complete enough for inclusion in the analysis. Members of the Demand Metric community received email invitations to participate in the survey and their participation was encouraged through a random draw incentive for one of two Pebble smartwatches.
63% of respondents reported being mostly or entirely B2B-focused.