Data Best Practices

Top 5 B2B Marketing Data Best Practices

We live in the age of “Big Data.” Across the economy, entire industries are being built and rebuilt based on collecting and mining data for meaningful information. The field of B2B marketing is no different and has become highly dependent on databases to market effectively. We are a long way from the days of a Rolodex and a phone book.

With organizations demanding more results from fewer resources, marketing teams must make sure the plans they develop and execute are based on the best possible data. To ensure your organization’s data can meet the demands of your marketing goals, it helps to apply some proven best practices.

These B2B marketing data best practices can help you improve decision-making, spend less money, and maximize customer experience.

What Is B2B Marketing Data?

B2B marketing data is the information you need to successfully market your products to your customers. Generally, this includes lead information about existing and potential customers, demographic data about your target market, information about your competition, and more.

B2B Marketing Data

B2B Marketing Data Best Practices

Now, let’s take a look at some best practices you can use to make sure you’re getting the most from your data.

1. Optimize Your Data

The first step you need to take is to optimize your data. This means making sure your database is organized, vetted, error-checked, and up to date. A large, disorganized, unwieldy data set filled with noise is almost as useless as having no data at all.

To get the most from your data, it needs to be optimized for easy access and data mining. You need to be able to generate meaningful reports quickly, and you need to be confident your reports are derived from a trusted data set.

Practically speaking, data optimization means taking the following actions:

  • Remove Duplicate Records: Duplicates will confuse any search and obscure meaningful conclusions. Find them and take them out.
  • Remove Inaccurate Records: Inaccurate records will also add noise to your search results by generating false leads and otherwise wasting your time and resources.
  • Remove Irrelevant Records: Check to be sure that all your data is relevant to your current goals. Perhaps your data set was transferred over from another database or your organization’s mission changed in the meantime.
  • Append Incomplete Records: Sometimes records are generated but are left incomplete for one reason or another. Find these and add any missing information.
  • Standardize Formats: Standard formatting will improve report accuracy and will help prepare your data for automation (discussed below).

At this point, you should have a clean and organized database that can help support your marketing goals.

2. Establish Guidelines for Input

Once your data set is optimized, it’s critical that all future inputs follow strict guidelines to help maintain the integrity of the database. Every organized system in the universe tends toward disorder, so it requires extra effort to make sure your database stays optimized.

As mentioned above, standardized formatting is an essential component of this process. If all members of a team are aware of the correct formatting (and its importance) of newly generated data, you can help mitigate the inevitable trend toward disarray.

You can save a lot of time by getting this right at the point of entry rather than requiring constant maintenance and review of existing data. This means designing systems that help error-check inputs and funnel users toward creating complete and accurate data sets.

3. Add Valuable Data Only

Now, you should have an optimized database and a team trained in the importance of maintaining that database as they generate new leads. The next piece of the puzzle is to ensure you only add high-quality data when gathering from outside sources.

When acquiring data from a third-party provider, be sure it includes some guarantee about the quality and validity of the leads. Generally, you will pay more for higher-quality data, but you will get a greater return on the investment.

While it may be tempting to save money and buy discount data, adding low-quality data to your database is useless. This practice does more harm than good.

4. Plan for the Future

When you’re gathering data and adding it to your newly optimized database, it’s easy to focus on the organization’s immediate needs. However, if you plan to expand and grow your organization, your data needs to be suited for the challenges you will encounter in the future.

This means you need to set up your database and input fields to accommodate more information than you currently need. Get your team together and spend a little time figuring out where the organization is headed and what the marketing goals may be in the future.

Armed with this understanding, you can generate input tools and data sets that aren’t just useful for the problems you face today, but will serve you well for problems that have yet to arise.

5. Prepare for Automation

Whether we like it or not, automation is coming. Machines can derive meaningful conclusions from your data faster and with more precision than a roomful of human beings. And as your data scales along with the growth of your organization, manual data input and manipulation becomes impractical anyway.

The solution is automation, but the conclusions drawn by machine algorithms are only as good as the data they are drawn from. The key to taking advantage of an automated future is by making sure your data is of the highest possible quality. Prepare now by following the preceding best practices so you’re ready for an automated future.


Data management is critical to successful marketing. It’s easy to get caught in the trap of thinking that a lot of data is great, but this isn’t necessarily true. In fact, data is only useful when it’s optimized in a way that allows you to quickly and effectively derive meaningful conclusions.

Take the time to get your database right so it will be ready to serve you when you and your organization need it most.

We hope you found these B2B marketing data best practices helpful. If you’re interested in more great business and marketing content, check out some of the other articles on our site.

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