Last month, Eric Wittlake and Jeffrey L. Cohen, Analysts at TOPO Research & Advisory released the 2020 Data Market Guide, providing a detailed overview of the third-party data solutions technology landscape, including trends, predictions, and top solution providers. Below, we’ve recapped the report contents such as the 8 key market drivers for third-party data, the top success factors for your data strategy, and advice for data buyers facing a new normal.
- DATA QUALITY MATTERS NOW MORE THAN EVER
- COMPANIES ARE ACCESSING MULTIPLE DATA TYPES FROM ONE VENDOR
- INTENT DATA CONTINUES TO RANK HIGH IN PRIORITY
Who Was Surveyed
The report outlines the full survey demographics, but a quick snapshot shows TOPO’s 2020 Data Market Guide includes data-driven marketing and sales leaders in a range of job titles and annual contract values (ACVs):
Some Definitions To Review
TOPO’s report categorizes third-party data into 3 main groups: intent data, account data, and contact data. Knowing that many providers overlap in their offerings, the following is an illustration of how TOPO views the martech stack as it relates to necessary data categories:
As TOPO outlines, account data includes firmographics, technographics, and company hierarchy information that is highly valuable for sales and marketing teams in order to better target prospects, improve customer intelligence management, and achieve effective lead routing and content personalization.
Contact data is defined as information around a person’s demographics, such as gender, age, job title or role, as well as phone and email contact information, data on interests, behaviors, and more. Here, TOPO made a point to underline the large amount of time that is wasted if SDR (Sales Development Representative) Teams are working with outdated, incorrect, or incomplete data.
“60% of marketing and sales professionals have identified cleaning and appending existing records as their top challenge with data. As they discover errors and outdated information in their systems, they resort to manual processes that cause efficiency breakdowns.”
– TOPO 2020 Data Market Guide
When it comes to intent data, TOPO reports on the various intent data use cases, noting that the “leading use of intent is selecting or prioritizing accounts (90%), followed by sharing insights with sales and sales development (68%).”
Another frequent use for intent data is to better target ad programs. By identifying the best content, and then organizing intent data into segments based on varying levels of signaled interest, then your team can be hyper-effective with prospecting and outreach messages.
“There are providers such as EverString, that aggregate multiple data sources in their platforms and make that data actionable with AI-powered recommendations.”
– TOPO 2020 Data Market Guide”
TOPO further identified the main challenges with intent data, which center around how to operationalize it. Because each provider organizes and delivers the intent signals differently, it can be difficult to know how and when to leverage intent data.
PRO RESOURCE: Companies need data-driven insights that identify high-fit leads who are likeliest to convert. It’s the only way for an effective go-to-market strategy to take hold. FIRE is the solution. By combining fit, intent, recency, and engagement data, FIRE is a methodology designed to help your team prioritize your best leads, shorten sales cycles, and improve your win rate. Download the FIRE eBook to learn more.
What’s Driving The Data Market
The U.S. third-party data market is valued at over $19 billion. There are significant market drivers pushing the demand for data rapidly to the forefront of our technology economy. TOPO’s 2020 Data Market Guide provides analysis on the key market drivers, which they identify as:
- Being truly data-driven requires database accuracy
- Intent data offers a real-time competitive advantage
- Customer experience depends on a high volume of unique data
- Accurate data is especially vital for AI-driven platforms
- Privacy regulations demand data governance improvements
- Sales engagement tools has accelerated the need for more data
- Organizations are realizing that data is key to account prioritization
- Account-based marketing strategies require more data than other go-to-market approaches
“The key that sold me on EverString, was the intent data and seeing a deeper level of knowledge about the contacts and the accounts. Rather than fishing in the entire ocean with any lure you can manage, hoping you catch something beyond an old tennis shoe, I’d rather fish where I know there’s going to be great fish that are hunting down what I’m fishing with.” Read more…
– Tim Harris, VP of Marketing, DialSource
A Look Into The Crystal Ball
TOPO rounds out their report by describing their market predictions for the coming cycles. In summary, they include:
- We’ll see major growth in the intent data space, both in demand and supply.
- Integrating intent data with overall execution will be a critical success factor.
- Data platforms will help smaller teams reap the benefits of big data.
- AI will transform marketing through automation… and data quality will play a foundational role.
- Data and automation will become a powerhouse duo that will disrupt the market.
Data Buyer Recommendations
Your organization’s unique uses and needs for data should be at the forefront of any data buying decision. TOPO underlines this by encouraging a process that puts attention on understanding the full picture first, and letting that drive the data strategy forward. TOPO also suggests running a pilot test with sample data to help evaluate the following criteria:
- How much coverage does your vendor provide?
- What is the quality of their data?
- How do they measure data quality? (ask them to show you specifics. If they can’t, it’s a red flag)
- Is their data compliant with privacy regulations?
- What are the integration and workflow features available?
PRO RESOURCE: Safeguard yourself from the pitfalls of hiring the wrong data provider. Download this Buyer’s Guide: 10 Questions To Ask Your Data Provider for advice on what to look for and red flags to avoid.