Dun and Bradstreet recently published their 7th Annual B2B Sales and Marketing Data Report. They surveyed 500 B2B sales and marketing decision makers in the US, UK and Canada. The results were largely focused around data investment and activation. They found 73% of respondents reported they’ve increased their investment in data quality, but the majority of organizations surveyed still haven’t connected the value of that B2B marketing data to the the deployment of sophisticated activation approaches.

There is a clear disconnect between what marketers want to do and what they are actually able to achieve. Of those who have invested in data quality, 100% of those surveyed said they’d seen an increase in marketing performance. But, when ranking barriers to investing in data quality and activation 27% said a lack of understanding and 37% said cost were the primary barriers.

“Our survey revealed that although advances have been made and data is being used to support basic marketing strategies, many organisations are yet to fully utilise their data as a competitive asset, leaving an untapped opportunity for marketers and sales teams to create a strong data foundation to fuel advanced applications.

Teams that are able to prioritise data quality will be better able to align their efforts and improve performance. This focus on data quality will enable businesses to harness and benefit from the full power of their martech stack with more unity and return on investment.”

Dun & Bradstreet, 2020

Data driven marketing practices in B2B are widely understood to be a game changer for competitive advantage, but the reality is knowing the importance of analyzing data and really understanding that data and how a data drive organization should be structured are two very different places to be in the data journey.

Common problems preventing effective use of B2B marketing data

  • Access to skills – One of the problems with using data effectively is not having expert data analysts in place. This could be in the form of a full time role; something you hire an agency for or bring a consultant in to support on.
  • Tech stack – some businesses may have all the latest data technology in place, but it doesn’t work together. Others may simply not have made the investment in the right technology. Again, this will require advice from an expert and the tech stack you choose will be dependent on the size and complexity of your business and marketplace.
  • Understanding the data that’s most important to your business – There are vast amounts of marketing data available to marketers today. So it’s key to first think about what data is important and unique to your business. It’s also critical to focus on data that can give you specific answers and direction.
  • Taking a siloed approach to data analysis – when analyzing results, it’s common to focus on channel performance individually, rather than taking a holistic approach to the data. For example, you might see an uplift in online search activity when running a video ad on YouTube, but if you report individually on YouTube and online search results you may miss the correlation.
  • Standardization of metrics – this links to the previous point, but with so many different channels and technology for analyzing data it’s really important to standardize reporting and define a common metric in order to effectively compare various tactics.

Effective use of data is complex. It requires investment in specific expertise and technologies and an ongoing commitment to continuous testing and improvement. If you think you’d benefit from some temporary expertise in-house, Ledger Bennett’s Fluid Talent offering can help.

We lone-out specialists, hired by us to work for you. They’ll come into your business and bring the critical skills needed to unlock your companies’ full marketing potential. Armed with the knowledge, enthusiasm and talent of Ledger Bennett, these individuals deliver best-in-class performance every step of the way.