New study reveals that many B2B databases are painfully inaccurate

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Many B2B marketers understand how essential data can be to their profession, but a new study has revealed that B2B databases contain a high amount of inaccurate or incomplete information.

B2B marketing databases contain vital client information necessary to create effective campaigns such as phone numbers, addresses, titles, emails, and revenue. This year’s report found that around 75 percent of all records contained in B2B databases are incomplete or inaccurate.

Dun and Bradstreet NetProspex’s “State of Data Marketing Benchmarks Report 2014” is the third annual release of this study. The results show an improvement in overall data quality, but there is still room for improvement.

The 2014 report looked at 223 million records and analyzed four key areas: record completeness, email deliverability, phone connectivity, and record duplication. On a scale of 1.0 to 5.0, the resulting total net score turned out to be 3.2. That’s an improvement over 2013’s score of 2.7, but still labels data health as “questionable.” Each category was also rated individually.

Email Deliverability

Eight-seven percent of B2B marketers use email to drive sales leads, but there’s a problem. Around two-thirds of the email records ranked as either questionable or worse. Email records degrade over time, so to keep them accurate they must be validated regularly. The category scored a rating of 3.2.

Record Completeness

Effective marketing campaigns rely on complete information about the target audience, but this category scored a 2.9. It’s no surprise then that 58 percent of B2B marketers felt their campaigns were ineffective at generating the desired results.

Phone Connectivity

The telephone is essential for closing the gap between marketing and sales, but this category became worse since 2013 dropping from 3.4 to 2.7. More than half of the records analyzed did not even have phone numbers.

Record Duplication

Record duplication was stable with a health rating of 4.3, and that actually shows a small increase over 2013 when it was 4.2. There are no major concerns here.

The Good News

B2B marketers are stepping up investments in big data management. Scott Brinker at cheifmartech.com found that over the past year the number of companies investing in marketing technology grew from 947 to 1,876 companies, representing a total investment of $22 billion. CMOs drive this marketing technology investment, and it’s predicted to climb as high as $32.2 billion by 2018.

A Demand Generation report called 2015 Demand Gen Report Benchmark Study found that 74 percent of B2B marketers are looking for quality over quantity in their lead generation initiatives, and 59 percent place top priority on improving database depth and accuracy.

Infogroup Targeting Solutions completed their own report in B2B marketing data. It found that 54 percent of marketers are beginning to invest in Big Data.

While B2B databases are far from perfect, they are improving. We’ll see more of the kinks being worked out as investments continue to grow.

Photo via MarketingProcessStrategiest

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