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If you’re a marketer, the end of the year means one thing: BUDGET SEASON! It’s time to look at programs and services, as well as the tools within your tech stack. The least exciting item on this list? Your marketing database.

No marketer wants to go there. It’s like buying a car; financially speaking, neither feels like a great investment, as both lose value by the second. In fact, 69% of B2B marketers say old or outdated information is their biggest challenge to developing a database strategy (source).

But still, just like a car gets you where you’re going, the accuracy of your B2B data is crucial. It impacts other investments and resources throughout the rest of your marketing budget. Put simply, poor marketing data management can make or break ROI.

Marketing database management key terms and best practices:

So, how are marketers dealing with this? According to a study conducted by Ascend2, 79% of “very successful” data-driven marketers partner with market intelligence providers to combat data decay. These vendors boast massive databases and real-time cleansing tools that can proactively protect and enhance customer and prospect data.

These vendors can help, but make no mistake: even if it is rife with holes and inaccurate information, this is still your database. Entrusting a vendor to help maintain its accuracy and completeness is no ordinary engagement.

Before signing on any dotted lines, your shortlist of vendors should provide a comprehensive report about the current health of your database. Be wary of vendors who proceed without giving your team this information upfront. It’s a red flag.

Once you receive your analysis, here are the two primary terms that will help you determine which vendor can help you the most.

Match Rate:

The rate at which vendors can match information in their database to the customer’s database. The higher the match rate, the more a vendor can help cleanse, append, and confirm contact and company data.

Cost Per Match (CPM):

Another valuable metric in a data management project, CPM is defined by the actual cost you are spending per updated record. A vendor’s match rate directly impacts the cost per match.

It’s important to understand that all “matches” are not created equal. Therefore it is CRITICAL to establish precisely which fields a vendor matches to and if the correlation between databases brings in new information that meets your needs.

For example, let’s pretend your main goal is to cleanse and append all the email addresses within your marketing database. If a vendor claims to match to 70% of the records within your database, but only has the contact’s company address or another extraneous field, then is it really a match? No, not at all.

This is why getting your hands on an analysis of what a particular B2B database provider can do for your specific database, prior to your first discovery call, is vital. The report should walk you through, on a field-by-field basis, precisely what information a vendor can help update or append.

If maximizing the value of your marketing database is a priority for your organization, ZoomInfo can help. Contact us today to get a complimentary health scan of your data.

We have the most comprehensive B2B contact database in the industry and we are primed and ready to help you succeed.

About the author

Ryan Hadfield

Ryan Hadfield is the Director of Marketing at ZoomInfo, the leading B2B contact data solution.

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