The Rising Cost of Crude Data

Dan Castello

Director of Data and Custom Ad Solutions

purchase intent insightsYou wouldn’t put crude oil in your car, would you? Without being processed into gasoline, that oil would stall your engine and leave you stranded on the side of the road. Yet, too many marketers and salespeople think nothing of using unrefined data.

Not all data is created equal. General, 3rd party data that is aggregated from multiple sources with unknown context is difficult to analyze and extremely error prone. Unfortunately, the problem is only going to get worse.

IDC estimates that by 2020, the digital universe will contain more than 40 zetabytes of data. Great news for anyone looking for insights into their audience and market, right? Not exactly. More than 90% of that data is unstructured, making it unusable or actionable for brand marketers.

The amount of data is overwhelming and it’s costing marketers a lot of money to find the right data to meet their goals, often through trial and error. But what is the right data? Getting a full picture of your B2B IT buyer’s intent involves four pillars:

  • Identity: Who are they? Your first step involves identifying buyers’ demographics and firmographics such as job role, company and team members.
  • Interest: What are they doing? Whether they fit your buyer persona doesn’t tell whether they‘re interested in purchasing or not. Insights into their purchase signals can tell you what research they’re performing and how their interest level changes over time.
  • Enrichment: How do you manage data? Being able to organize your data is just as important as having accurate and relevant data. Putting systems or software in place can help organize and activity data.
  • Activation: How do you act? Just like with enrichment, having access to the right data doesn’t help if you don’t use it. Leverage your data in marketing campaigns and measure how your new intent data-powered initiatives perform against past campaigns.

Crude data limits visibility, value and decision-making

The first mistake many marketers make is leveraging data they believe represents the identity and interest of their target buyer. When using 3rd party data, the source is unknown and there is limited visibility into true purchase intent behavior. There are a number of reasons a company may find themselves with unrefined, crude data:

  • The data marketplace is large and noisy. Because there are so many data providers it can be hard to distinguish quality data. Many providers will impress with pretty GUIs and aggressive marketing spend while their data does not provide real results.
  • Real intent is hard to find. One of the issues with providers, especially in the “interest” stage is being able to trust when their systems derive intent. Without a full understanding of what constitutes intent you could be making decisions based on inaccurate or unrefined data.
  • Most data sources lack a broad scope. Startups tend to focus on one or two areas in an ecosystem to draw all of their data and inform all of their decisions. This is generally because mining the entire market is not feasible given their resources.
  • Transparency is a huge issue. Particularly in traditional programmatic channels, a lack of insight into the source of data givens companies a blurry view of their buyers. This makes it difficult to ever realize true value from the use of data.

Refined data from TechTarget pinpoints purchase intent to help you engage active buyers

Leveraging 1st party data gives you a more reliable source of information and avoids common issues in delivering data. TechTarget captures data and purchase intent insights in real-time, around 10,000+ technical B2B subtopics. This provides a broad view of your industry but is also completely self-contained within our single source of purchase intent insights, making its quality much easier to verify.

How does TechTarget deliver such refined data? We track insights from buyer interactions, including brand engagements and content downloads, and track and topically categorize every single one. Our sophisticated collection methodology allows us to monitor, analyze, score and catalog our data into very specific audience segments for marketers to leverage.

Of course, collecting data is only half the battle. We strive for complete transparency into our collection and your engagement. Understanding what actions a potential buyer took allows you to see accounts with surging purchase behavior and reach them with your specific message.

Interested in learning more about leveraging TechTarget’s data to intelligently target IT buyers and accounts? Contact us at Branding@techtarget.com today!

b2b branding, b2b purchase intent insight, purchase intent data, refined data, TechTarget

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