All About B2B Data Services
Table of Content
1. What are B2B Data Services?
2. Which B2B Data Services are offered by companies?
3. What is a B2B Email List or Email Marketing Database?
4. What can you do with B2B Data?
5. What are the types of B2B Data points available?
6. Sources of B2B Data
7. Compliances in Email List building
8. Understanding the B2B Data Sourcing Market
9. How can Marketers or Salespeople source data?
10. Why outsourcing to a Data Research Company is better?
01. What are B2B Data Services?
Definition – B2B data is any form of information regarding companies and markets that helps in business processes and revenue generation. B2B data generally consists of a list or database of individual contacts with many data points that can be used for various sales and marketing activities. It is gathered from various public and private sources and can be applied to many business tasks, especially marketing and sales campaigns.
No matter what industry you are in, if you are a business selling a product or service to another business, you will need B2B data.
02. Which B2B Data Services are offered by companies?
B2B Email List Build
An email list contains email addresses and other contact and company information, which can be used for marketing and sales campaigns. There are 3 main ways to build this list. The 1st is organically building subscribers through creating your own content, the 2nd is downloading a list from a paid online database, and the 3rd is carrying out customised list research by a team of data experts.
Cleansing and Validation
Data in contact databases gets stale from time to time, as people change jobs. This causes company names, email ids and phone numbers to get outdated. That’s why processes like company name standardisation and deduplication on the CRM, need to be carried out regularly.
Stale contact information causes email and cold call campaigns to become unsuccessful, as you end up with email bounces.
In order to be successful, all b2b conferences and events need to have relevant delegates attending the event. They also need to have speakers and sponsors. The events and conferences industry thrives on freshly sourced b2b contact databases that are always refreshed and validated. Besides this, gaining the right market and competitor intelligence, and insights about similar events held by competitors, ensures a successful event with the highest ROI.
Data Mining means collecting useful information from vast quantities of available data to make decisions and for business analysis. Data is the most important asset of a company, and this has led to the evolution of data mining processes, which converts raw data into meaningful and usable information. It relies on effective data collection and storage along with data computing processes and software automation.
Business intelligence combines business analytics, data mining, data visualisation, Market research, competition and trend analysis to help organisations make more data-driven decisions. It leverages software and services to transform data into actionable insights that inform an organisation’s business decisions.
Reporting is a central facet of business intelligence and the dashboard is perhaps the most prominent BI tool. Dashboards are software applications that automatically pull together available data into charts and graphs that give a sense of the immediate state of the company.
BI offers a way for people to examine data, to understand trends and derive insights so they can correct mistakes and make predictions for the future to improve business processes.
03. What is a B2B Email List or Email Marketing Database?
A b2b email list is a list of email addresses. They can also include phone numbers and other company details. These lists are essential for marketing, sales and business development teams during their outreach campaigns. These lists can be used for sending out email campaigns, as well as making cold calls.
Email lists can be built manually or organically, or they can be purchased from b2b data providers. Wherever you choose to get your list from, you need to make sure you follow GDPR norms, and receive the consent of the contacts on your list. This consent is also referred to as single and double opt-in data, and is provided by reliable b2b data companies.
04. Where are Marketing Databases most valuable in an organisation? Or What can you do with B2B Data?
Sales – Contact lists save a lot of time for Sales reps looking for the right prospects in their cold calling and emailing efforts.
Marketing – Marketers always need to build high quality email databases for marketing and sales campaigns. These email databases can target very specific or granular industry segments and even provide additional market intelligence that helps in targeting and reaching out to leads with the right message at the right time.
What can B2B Data Services be used for?
Depending on the data you hold for each contact, different communication channels can be used to deliver your message to them. For example, having just an email address gives sales reps the ability to contact only via email. However, obtaining a phone number and even social media accounts opens up the opportunity for multi-channel outreach which will increase the chances of connecting with your contacts.
Such activities can include creating your Ideal Customer Profile, lead generation, outbound sales, analytics, and more.
An email list or database is very important to your revenue success. It facilitates the process of prospecting, lead generation and outreach activities for sales and marketing teams. In other words, it helps you discover and target the right prospects and decision makers.
05. What are the types of B2B Data points available for building a B2B Email List or a Marketing Database?
Firmographic data is the different characteristics used to segment companies into groups. These can include information such as industry, company size and revenue.
Demographic data is descriptive data about the person you are targeting. You can use it to label and segment your data into areas such as age, gender, email ID, phone number, location, and skills.
Company data is the information on the companies or accounts you intend to target. It helps give you more insight into each account to help find who to target and how to target them better by either personalising your message or refining your proposal.
Contact data gives you information about the people at the company or account you want to connect with. The data will include data points such as contact name, job title (e.g. CEO, head of sales, director), Department (e.g. accounting, general management, marketing) and email address, phone number, Tenure, which refers to how long they have held the position.
Engagement data shows the interactions between your prospect and your company. This can show if they previously downloaded something from you, liked your post on social media, or the amount of time spent browsing your website. It can also be used to retarget those contacts who could have opened an email or clicked on your ad but did not act further on it.
Intent data is behavioural data based on insights captured through web usage. It identifies the user’s purchase intent to see if and when they are looking to purchase.
The data will tell you about the products or services they are researching about. Using internet trackers, intent data can be collected from those who visit your website or similar websites such as a competitor’s or comparison websites.
Technographic data refers to the different technologies (or technology stack) your target companies are using. These can include hardware, software, digital tools, platforms, etc.
With the number of technologies available rapidly increasing and being adopted by companies, understanding what technologies they are using can enable you to personalise your proposal in a way that is meaningful for them.
06. Sources of B2B Data
Primary research is a method used by researchers to collect data directly, rather than depending on data collected from previously done research.
Technically, they “own” the data. Primary research is carried out to solve a certain problem, which requires in-depth analysis. Businesses or organisations can themselves conduct primary research or can employ a third party to conduct research on their behalf.
Primary and Secondary research, through interaction with C-level executives at Fortune 500 companies, regarding their current performance, transactions in niche markets, and future launches.
Web based resources like business directories, industry commerce sites, country departmental sources, company annual reports, market reports, SEC filings, form 990, capital and private market data, magazines, publications and journals, trade shows, conferences etc.
07. Compliances in Email List building
Compliance laws have come into existence to protect customers against various internet scams and misuse of personal data. They aim to prevent the sending of unsolicited emails. Two of the most well known compliance frameworks are GDPR and CAN-SPAM
GDPR deals with the processing of personal data in the EU. Following these regulations not only protects individual privacy, but helps increase engagement and click-through rates on your email marketing campaigns.
Since the GDPR was introduced in 2018, sending a marketing email now requires obtaining consent. This consent has to be freely given, specific, informed, unambiguous and provided by some form of clear action, such as ticking a box.
08. Understanding the B2B Data Sourcing Market
Types of data sourcing available on the market
The data brokerage market is highly fragmented. There may be up to 5,000 data brokers worldwide, plus nearly 10 million open datasets published by government agencies and non-governmental organizations.
Syndicated Data or Data Brokers or Software Tools that allow you to download from a large database
With data brokers or software tools millions of data points are stored in a large database. A data broker is a business that aggregates information from a variety of sources; processes it to enrich, cleanse or analyze it; and licenses it to other organizations. They are sometimes also called an information broker, syndicated data broker or information product company.
Data brokers tend to specialize in certain industries in order to gain a competitive advantage, and they often target specific functions within organizations, such as sales, finance or human resources.
As the market evolves, organizations’ demands become more sophisticated, They need to consider whether their data initiative is long-term or short-term. Short term requirements may be better served by downloading from pre-built databases. Long term data needs require data providers who function more as partners, working as per the client’s evolving needs.
Data Partners that outsource data research services with a team of domain experts
Data partners have a very different approach. They do not store databases and resell them to others. Each database is custom built exclusively for each client. The approach is research oriented and begins with primary and secondary research methods. They work in partnership towards the success of the client’s email campaign.
They also manage the existing CRM, keeping it refreshed and updated at all times. Data is sourced with GDPR compliances, and single and double opt-ins to gain consent of all contacts on the email list. After all this they also have the capability to research the market, the competition and industry trends to provide intelligence that helps in business decision making, and marketing campaigns. This ensures your data is unique from your competitors’ data.
The top B2B Data Enrichment tools for marketing and sales
Alternatives to Zoominfo
Evaluating Data Accuracy with the top email list builder tools for marketing and sales
09. How to build an Email List from scratch? Or How can Marketers or Salespeople source data?
There are three main ways of sourcing b2b data.
Building an email list organically
This requires an organisation to create useful or educational content around their area of expertise. This builds trust in the minds of users and encourages them to share their email addresses through online forms, thus giving their consent to receive promotional emails. The disadvantage here is you’ll have to train a team in content marketing and have infrastructure available in-house. This requires a lot of time and resources.
Downloading from an online database
Small and mid sized businesses can use email finder tools and grow their email list. These methods are not very expensive and can be used under financial constraints, preventing the company from outsourcing their data collection. This is a quicker method, but comes with the downside of lack of accuracy and customisation. You will end up with a lot of email bounces in your marketing campaigns, and the risk of being marked as spam. Another downside is that databases can be pre built only for the most sought after industries like IT, real estate, banking and finance etc. There are many niche industries like oil and gas, infrastructure, renewable energy etc. that do not have high demand for data and hence pre built databases are not available.
Partnering with a data research company
In cases where organisations need custom company and contact data lists, partnering with data researchers is the best option. It guarantees customisation, accuracy and exclusivity. You will have GDPR compliant and SLA guaranteed data, along with single and double opt-in consent. Your CRM data will always be refreshed in real time. Some partner companies even tell you the date and time your data was last updated.
All this is possible because of the team of researchers available full time for your research project. They can even replace contacts that get stale during your email or cold call campaign.
This aspect of partnership in data research ensures the success of your email or cold call campaign, and gives you higher chances of achieving a 100% ROI on your campaign.
10. Why outsourcing to an Email Data Research Company is better than downloading from a pre-built database?
When choosing between downloading from an existing database or partnering with a data research company, the main consideration is how much accuracy and success rate your organisation expects from its marketing campaigns, what are your organisation’s long term expectations, and how much of a role does data play in your marketing, sales and business development efforts.
The biggest advantage of outsourcing B2B data is having professionals with a specific skill set do the job for you. Another reason why smart B2B businesses prefer commissioning a third-party firm is that this approach technically cuts costs. For example, you don’t have to invest in infrastructure, space, storage, and training your IT staff.
Speaking of cutting costs, don’t forget that you only hire the specialist firm for the duration of that particular project. So when their job is done, there won’t be extra costs to incur on your side.
Many data vendors may attract users by offering their downloadable lists at a low cost, since they are built for scale. But in the long run these lists turn out to be more expensive, as a lot of data turns out to be stale. Research partners charge for freshly sourced, exclusive data that is profitable in the long run. So there is a comparative cost benefit in the long run due to higher data accuracy, and not having to maintain a specialised team and infrastructure, which finally lowers the cost per lead.