What is B2B Data?
Ways to Build It & Ways to use it in Email Marketing Campaigns.
Table of Content
1. What is B2B Data?
2. How are B2B Email Data lists built?
3. What can you do with B2B Data?
4. What are the types of B2B Data points available?
5. Sources of B2B Data
6. How can Marketers or Salespeople build a Database?
7. Why outsourcing to a Data Research Company is better?
01. What is B2B Data?
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.
This b2b data is accessed in the form of a b2b email list is a list of email addresses. The list 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. Most data providers build and store databases, while few build custom databases from the ground up for each individual client project.
02. How are B2B Email Data lists built?
These lists are built through sourcing, validation, cleaning, refresh, and adding layers of business intelligence to it to help you build your list, know when is the right time to approach, what messaging to use for communication, and close deals faster.
Sourcing helps you gather data, validation helps you make sure the email addresses and phone numbers are valid, and lastly intelligence and insight give you market and competitor data that will help you enrich your marketing and sales pipeline.
03. 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.
04. 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.
05. 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.
06. How can Marketers or Salespeople build a b2b Database?
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.
07. 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.
What criteria should a company bear in mind before going in for a data partner or downloading from a database?
Read this article to know more. What you need to know before buying a B2B Lead List