B2B Marketers Look to Improve Their Contact Data

December 7, 2017

The majority of B2B marketers and salespeople see room for significant improvement in their current data acquisition strategies, according to a Synthio-sponsored study from Demand Gen Report [download page]. These improvements are needed to help meet their primary database goals, which center around better engagement.

The most widely-shared goal is targeting specific segments for better engagement (65%). Around half also are hoping to identify key stakeholders within target accounts (51%), while close to half want to collect prospective buyer behavior in order to boost engagement and messaging (44%).

More than 4 in 10 also are working on reaching their total addressable market in defined sectors.

Getting to that goal requires an understanding of contacts’ industry verticals. That’s one of several data fields that B2B marketers and salespeople are hoping to collect.

Respondents were asked which 3 types of deeper data intelligence they’re currently not collecting but want to collect. Almost two-thirds (64%) identified contacts’ time frame for a buying decision as a top-3 piece of deeper data intelligence beyond basic fields. Budget information (54%) was next on the list.

Further behind and closely grouped were company revenue, industry vertical, and company size.

Previous research from Demand Gen Report has found that fewer than 1 in 5 B2B marketers (18%) would be willing to share their budget / purchase timing / annual revenue in exchange for content. Other research suggests that revenue information is the type of information most commonly missing from B2B databases.

But while B2B marketers might want to collect more data on their prospects and customers, they have a couple of even more pressing challenges. In fact, the biggest challenge to maintaining data quality isn’t a lack of data on current customers, but rather old and outdated data.

To help with this problem, B2B marketers and salespeople are turning to third-party vendors. Half say they use data append vendors to supplement or enrich their in-house customer data, and a similar proportion (48%) turn to data enrichment vendors. Fewer (30%) are collecting social media data.

Of those data sources, data append vendors are considered the most effective, closely followed by data enrichment vendors.

Although many B2B marketers turn to outside help to enrich their contact databases, the majority (77%) handle all of their data cleansing and quality assurance themselves. For these respondents, email (58%) is the primary way by which they validate contact accuracy to assure quality and freshness of records.

Fewer (38%) use social media such as LinkedIn for validation, while others are as likely to turn to third-party data validation tools (33%) as they are to pick up the phone (either via call center of in-house).

Audience data company Eyeota noted recently in its H1 2017 Index Report [download page] that overall demand for B2B audience data has doubled year-over-year.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 150 B2B marketers and salespeople, 94% of whom are from North America. Roughly half are Director-level and above, and a slight majority (52%) come from companies with at least $25 million in revenues.

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