Incomplete, Inaccurate Data Stifling B2B Advertising Industry

Display and video advertisement rely on accurate customer data in order to personalize emails and Web site pages, yet more than 71% of the 223 million B2B records analyzed by Dun & Bradstreet's Netprospex were found either inaccurate or incomplete. The company's 2015 State of Marketing Data Benchmark Report identifies identifies the need to improve data management in four key areas: completeness, ability to deliver emails, ability to connect by phone, and duplicate records.

It turns out 84% of marketing databases are barely functional. More than 66% of the records lacked basic data such as industry, company revenue, and number of employees, and 62% of company email addresses were "questionable," though 87% of marketers cite email as one of their top methods for driving leads.

Netprospex VP of Marketing Derek Slayton said the buying cycle for B2B companies is much longer and requires many more people to make the decisions -- which requires having very accurate company and individual records.



The Netprospex data shows an overall improvement, but not at a fast enough pace. "We went from looking at a bit more than 60 million records in 2013, to 223 million in 2014, but the state of that data wasn't that different," Slayton said. "It was a bit surprising."

Some 41% of records analyzed didn't include a phone number in the most recent report, down from 64% in the prior year, but there's still lots of room for improvement. The report shows 84% of records do not have revenue information; 82%, employee information; 72%, Web site domains; 72%, industry information; and 34% title information.

Netprospex estimates that the marketing technology landscape nearly doubled from 947 to 1,876 companies, with nearly $22 billion in investments during the past year. B2B marketing organizations are investing in technology at an accelerated rate. As more businesses move into this space, the importance of process measurement and data management becomes crucial.

Brands should focus on quality rather than quantity when it comes to lead generation. Many are doing just that. Some 74% of B2B marketers surveyed consider lead quality over lead quantity as their primary focus for 2015, and 59% of those respondents ranked improving the depth and accuracy of their database a top 2015 priority for demand generation activities.

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