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Experian-Data-Types-Essential-Marketing-Success-Feb2014More than 9 in 10 companies believe that some form of data is essential to their marketing success, reveals a recent report from Experian Quality Data. But, obviously, some forms of data are simply more essential than others. Not surprisingly, contact data is considered essential by most respondents connected to data management – who hailed from the US, UK, Netherlands, Spain, Germany and France.

That might sound basic, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact, when North American B2B marketers were recently asked the areas of customer insight that most need improvement, the top response was basic engagement data, such as titles, roles and contact information, cited by 59% as an area they would like to improve. That suggests that many aren’t confident in the quality of the most basic information they need, although it’s also possible that the presence of this data at the top of the list is a reflection of how critical respondents perceive it be.

Indeed, some 55% of respondents to the Experian survey said that contact data is essential to marketing success; following that were sales data and demographic data, considered essential by 44% and 38% of respondents, respectively. Further down the list, preference data (31%) and behavioral data (26%) are perceived to be more important than geolocation data (20%).

On average, respondents reported using 3.4 channels to collect customer or prospect contact data. The most commonly used channel is the good old website, by 73%, followed by face-to-face (60%), call center (54%), physical stores (42%) and mobile websites (36%) and applications (35%).

Email addresses are among the most popular types of contact data acquired, by 83% of respondents using an average of 3 channel. The prevalence of email address collection is not surprising given that email is the most commonly used communication channel by respondents, far outstripping social media.

About the Data: The survey was fielded in December 2013 among more than 1,200 respondents. Industry sectors included in the sample were finance, public sector, retail, manufacturing, utilities and education. Respondents consisted of C-level executives, vice presidents, directors, managers and administrative staff connected to data management, across a variety of functions.

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