The B2B Data Scramble: Most Brands Plan To Spend More On Quality This Year

Brands are pouring money into data this year, according to the Dichotomy Of Data, a study by Dun & Bradstreet. 

Of the companies surveyed, 75% expect to increase their data quality investments in 2020, and 18% strongly foresee doing so. 

And email vendors should be getting at least some of this money, as 65% of the B2B respondents use email as a channel, tying email for first place with online advertising.

However, the study notes that having a “high-quality email list or performing simple firmographic segmentation is no longer enough to fully realize sales and marketing ROI gains.”

Another 62% are active on the web, and 61% in social media. Of the people investing in data quality, 90% feel it will improve sales and marketing performance, and 39% strongly feel that.

But only 7% believe that investments will affect meaningful personalization, 7% ABM, 7% aligning online and offline activities and 4% whitespace identification.



Rather, these indicatives are the ones that get the most positive impact from data quality investments:

  • Sales prospecting and closing. 
  • Generating customer insights/intelligence based on analytics.
  • Campaign execution. 

Among the many barriers to investing faced by companies, the main ones are:

  • Cost—37%
  • Better ROI with other initiatives—27% 
  • Lack of understanding of data quality—27% 
  • Lack of results evidence—25%
  • Key decision-makers not on board—24% 

But the investments apparently pay off once these hurdles are overcome. Of companies that have invested, 100% saw overall performance gains and 94% improved their sales and marketing.

But 100% of firms that decreased their spend saw no improvement in sales/marketing performance, and 75% suffered a decline. Moreover, 35% took a hit in overall results.

Here’s more apparent proof of the power of data. Executives are confident in the state of data quality for use in these areas:

  • Representing target audiences—89% 
  • Identifying target audience—87%
  • Up-to-data information—86% 
  • Consistent structure of data—85%
  • Completeness of data—82% 

Intent data is a category unto itself. The poll found that 60% use first-party intent data and 51% third party intent data for following purposes:

  • Personalize web experiences for anonymous visitors.
  • Prioritize leads with lead scoring.
  • Personalize email to nurture leads. 

Dun & Bradtreet surveyed 500 B2B decision makers, including some that work in firms that also conduct B2C marketing, evenly split between the U.S., Canada and the UK.



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