Data has the potential to unlock invaluable insights that will inform your marketing strategies and benefit your business. But how confident are you in the quality of the data you hold? 

Half of B2B marketers lack confidence in data quality 

In the new B2B Marketing Data Report from Dun & Bradstreet, half of the 250 B2B sales and marketing professionals surveyed said they lack confidence when it comes to the quality of their data.

As B2B Marketing details, the number of marketers acknowledging that data quality is vital to sales and marketing functions is on the up, with 15% more stating this is the case than in 2016. 

The five top activities the respondents believe data is vital to were: campaign execution; personalised content and messaging; sales prospecting and closing; generating customer insight with analytics; and lead qualification and scoring.

The study also showed that although marketers are making large investments in CRM and other systems, almost 40% called themselves beginners or novices at integrating CRM with data. Also, 90% struggle to align company sales and marketing data when executing campaigns across channels. 

Global head of marketing at Dun & Bradstreet, Josh Mueller, feels B2B companies are at a crossroads. “They overwhelmingly understand the value of data to their organisations, but have not yet figured out how to collect, integrate and apply that data in insightful ways to help make business decisions.”

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Martech market nears $100bn – and continues to grow 

A new study from Moore Stephens and WARC has valued the global marketing technology market at $99.9bn (£76bn). 

The report, conducted among 800 global brands and agencies and reported on by Mobile Marketing, unveils a huge market that continues to grow at an unprecedented rate.

When asked about their outlook for the sector, most brands expect to increase their martech budgets over the next twelve months. This is especially true for Europe (excluding the UK), where almost two thirds (63%) expect to see their budgets grow.

Companies in the UK and North America have boosted martech budgets by 44% in the last year, taking the combined total up to $52bn. In fact, these brands are allocating almost one quarter (23%) of their budgets to martech, up from 16% one year ago. 

The report identified the specific drivers behind this booming market. Perhaps unsurprisingly, email was found to be the most likely channel for martech, utilised by 79% of marketers. This was followed by social media, with 77% using the technology and 18% planning to do so over the next year. 

Interestingly, the most planned tactic for the forthcoming year was SEO, which continues to grow as new algorithms are developed. The greatest rise for the UK and North American markets was martech for analytics, measurement and insights, cited by 75% – a 19% increase on last year’s figure.

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B2B marketers lack essential skills of the future 

Most marketing teams don’t possess the skills they need to facilitate the rapid pace of change ahead of them, according to a B2B Marketing and Clarasys report.

The industry survey, shared by B2B Marketing, found that seven in ten B2B marketers believe transformation is a top priority for their business, with the same percentage boosting martech investment to support such developments. 

Yet, most feel that their team is not equipped with the skills to foster this change. One in ten were found not to have the skills needed for today. 

In the Adapt or Die? Leadership in the era of martech transformation, B2B Marketing’s editor-in-chief and co-founder Joel Harrison states that the skills gap is forming a new, crucial role: the Marketing Operations function. 

He explained how some B2Bs have been progressive and proactive in restructuring their marketing functions, and reskilling marketers to enable transformation and facilitate the use of martech. Though, most lag a long way behind. 

He warned: “Many have not embarked on the transition, or even scoped it. Such companies are likely to be putting themselves at significant competitive disadvantage, which will become more acute as disruption in their markets increase.”