Good Data Strategies Are the Key to Higher B2B Marketing Performance
B2B marketers are focused on building out systems and processes to better manage and use the data they collect and the data they purchase.Recently, Anteriad worked with Ascend2 to gather some of our own data in the form of a research study about this very matter.
The study turned out to be eye-opening, even for our data-driven B2B marketing organization. We found that two-thirds of B2B marketers report their organizations do not have a comprehensive data strategy in place to inform marketing. We also found that those B2B marketers who do have a comprehensive data strategy are twice as likely to report they grew 20% or more in the past year compared to those that do not.
Clearly, a focus on data is not just a trend, but a foundational element of a successful B2B organization. In order to create a data strategy that works, we found several common denominators that can help B2B marketers build a case for better data strategies.
Unified Data Makes a Difference
The B2B marketers with the most advanced data strategies were those with an integrated approach. We found that only 23% of B2B marketers have fully integrated data that flows from one system to the next without manual input. However, those that have integrated are more likely to have seen revenue growth than those that have not done that work.
It’s no surprise that many companies lag when it comes to integrating data because their tech stacks are complex. The study found that 61% of marketers surveyed believed their tech stack was either “too complex,” or worse “more complex than a black hole.” When solutions stop being helpful and start acting as barriers to progress, it’s time to tackle the situation head-on.
This correlation with a revenue increase can serve as justification for B2B marketers to prioritize the backend work that’s required to connect these complex systems and allow data to flow more easily. Marketers often find that their developer teams are low on bandwidth or are hesitant to bite off a big data project that could take months to complete. For example, consolidating different profiles from different databases like a CRM, a CDP, or a DMP requires development work and collaboration with different tech partners. What’s more, moving data requires added hurdles like ensuring data compliance and security in line with GDPR, CCPA and other regulations and guidelines.
Knowing that the investment is worth it at the end can help marketers gain the leverage they need to kick off these larger projects.
Tap Into Better Data Insights
When it comes time to make effective use of the data that marketers have collected, less than half of the respondents felt confident. This limits the ability to move forward with new endeavors, reach new audiences or create more accurate, targeted campaigns.
One of the most important steps in making use of data is to normalize it – that is, make it uniform across systems so that everyone is speaking the same language and information can be compared. Less than a third noted that data is extensively normalized across their organization. This represents another big opportunity. The marketers that reported extensively normalized data were almost six times more likely to report an excellent ability to derive actionable insights (67% of those with extensively normalized data compared to just 12% of all others.)
The study finds that more than half of B2B marketers are using at least five different third party data sources, while 15% are using more than ten. The ones that are planning to add intent data to that list next year have a stronger footing than other marketers. The study reports that, “Among the group that reports using more intent data in the coming year, 90% feel confident about success. For the groups that don’t have plans to increase their use of intent data — or don’t leverage intent data at all — only 70% are confident in success.”
Creating a standard to normalize data now is critical to scaling in the future, as it’s likely that B2B marketers will want to test new data sources as they try new channels and find new insights like intent data that can add value. This, too, is an undertaking that is time-consuming, but ultimately impactful to the bottom line.
Data Ambitions for 2023
The good news is that many marketers plan to tackle data unification and develop a data strategy in the coming year. More senior respondents are focused on updating their technology stack, while managers are more focused on unifying data. All of these endeavors are important, and can be accomplished in unison if the company works together.
For data success in 2023, B2B marketers need internal champions to keep projects on track, and should lean on partners for expertise throughout the process. The right partner can help marketers move faster and avoid pitfalls as they forge ahead.
The study surveyed 370 marketing professionals from across the United States and the United Kingdom to reveal how B2B companies are adjusting to a shifting technology and data landscape to drive results in their go-to-market strategies and tactics.