Almost two-thirds (60%) of marketers say they lack confidence in the data coverage of their total target audience, according to new research from Demand Gen Report and DealSignal.
The 2018 Audience and Demand Planning Benchmark Survey found that although 82% of marketers say it is a priority to understand their target audience in terms of data coverage and quality, only 45% are currently investing in solutions to help them do so and 23% do not invest in these processes at all.
The gap between where marketers want to be and where they are currently may be due in large part to the information they are collecting. Contact data is the most widely used resource to identify and measure total audiences (87%). Only 45% also use account and firmographic data, 33% rely on intent data and 17% use technographic data.
Misalignment Can Create Incomplete View Of Total Audience
Data disparities may also be caused by a lack of collaboration across internal departments. Most survey respondents (89%) said marketing was involved in defining and analyzing the company’s audience coverage. Fifty one percent included sales in the process, 41% included marketing ops, 32% included sales ops and 28% included sales development. By excluding these departments, B2B companies may be overlooking opportunities to grow and improve information on their target audience.
Demand Planning Efforts Pushed To The Backburner
The research also found that marketers are not prioritizing demand planning initiatives. In fact, just over half (51%) said they do not conduct formal demand planning sessions. Among those who do, 31% said they do so on a quarterly basis, while 19% perform demand planning only once a year.
Forward-Thinking Companies Expect Large Payoffs From Data Investments
A large portion of today’s B2B marketers are not investing in solutions to ensure data coverage and accuracy and are ignoring opportunities for cross-company collaboration. But for progressive marketers who are making data quality and demand planning a growing priority, they expect to see great payoffs in 2019 and beyond. These include:
- Driving engagement with more personalized campaigns (68%);
- Growing pipeline by identifying new accounts/contacts that fit their buyer profile (51%); and
- Aligning sales and marketing with better data and criteria for account and contact data (49%).
The report surveyed 105 marketing executives from B2B companies across industries such as SasS, financial services, telecommunications and more.
“It is encouraging to see that more and more marketers are recognizing the importance of knowing their total audience, especially since it’s the foundation for demand gen planning and marketing program execution,” said Rob Weedn, Founder and CEO of DealSignal, in a statement to Demand Gen Report. “We’re excited to help marketers know their total audience metrics (TAM) and help them accelerate their topmost goal — to help sales build pipeline.”