Data is the lifeblood of all marketing, B2B included. As the sheer volume of data continues to grow, B2B marketers are challenged to manage it, utilize it, and enlist of the help of third-party data providers to help.
What does the state of B2B data marketing look like in 2017? To find out, Openprise has published a brief overview of the current trends in B2B marketing data, titled B2B Data Market Industry Report 2017. The survey was completed by 175 B2B marketers in the U.S. by companies with over 200 employees. Large, or enterprise, companies are those with over 5,000 employees. And some interesting differences between small and large become apparent in this report, when you see how the enterprise-sized companies face unique challenges when working with data and data providers.
According to the report, 67 percent of marketers at small companies say they are very satisfied with their data providers. That’s a significant number and it indicates data providers are well-equipped to meet the needs of the smaller businesses. However, there is a stark contrast when you look at the satisfaction level of those same marketers at enterprise level companies: 31 percent. To put this in perspective, that means two-thirds of the marketers at the smaller companies are very satisfied while only one-third of the marketers at the larger companies feel the same way.
The reason is probably due in some part to size: The bigger the company, the bigger the volume both in size and complexity. Inherently that means more issues and that can reflect upon the performance of the data providers.
However, the larger companies are also dissatisfied for quite specific reasons. For example, larger companies tend to be more concerned with incorrect field values, with 25 percent of marketers at enterprise-sized organizations stating the issue is a top concern, while only 14 percent of the marketers at smaller companies see it that way. This too probably goes back to sheer size: the larger the company, the larger the database and sources and number of employees involved, which all adds up to a higher chance of errors…and incorrect field values.
Not every finding pits large businesses against small. Some of the trends noted apply to every size business. For example, the higher the number of data providers used, the higher the satisfaction rate among the marketers. In fact, the highest satisfaction rate was among those marketers who had tried four or more data providers: 80 percent of these marketers say they are very satisfied. The takeaway here might be to keep looking: If you’re not finding the solutions you need with one data provider, try another—and another. Obviously all data providers are not providing services equally and your needs are specific to your business. So, take a Goldilocks approach and keep trying until you find the one that’s just right. Another takeaway is that it takes more than one data provider to meet all your needs: 37 percent of the survey respondents plan to use four or more providers in 2017.
Another surprise finding shows that only a minority of businesses turn to data providers for data cleansing: Only one in three B2B marketers is using a data provider for data cleansing. Instead, 62 percent of marketers are using data providers to identify contacts within target companies, 52 percent are using data providers to identify new target companies, and 50 percent are using data providers to append missing field data.
In addition, less than half of the marketers surveyed are using the data providers for their Account-Based Marketing (ABM). According to the report, this could be because marketers aren’t ready yet, as they’re still in the process of acquiring the techniques and technologies they need to succeed in ABM.
The report includes a list of the most popular data providers. Interestingly, ZoomInfo is the most used provider by both the smaller companies and the enterprise-level ones, with InfoUSA the second most popular.
For more insight into B2B data marketing trends, download the full Openprise report here.