The Evolution of B2B Data: From the Days Gone to Embracing the Future

The B2B data collection traces its history back to the early 2000s. Back then, salespeople could stock up on business contacts mainly by introducing themselves to prospects at trade shows.

However, the event networking was immediately pushed aside once social media entered the scene. Then, it was followed by third-party B2B data providers and sales intelligence platforms that brought B2B data orchestration to a new level.

The quest for winning B2B data strategies continues as we witness how revenue-generating channels exhaust with time. Let’s overview what changed about the old methods and what areas of B2B marketing are worth doubling down on.

B2B Data Scrapping in the Early Days of LinkedIn

The LinkedIn launch provided B2B marketers with a treasure trove full of decision-makers profiles. The native targeting capabilities of a platform empowered go-to-market teams to run b2b demand generation and lead generation campaigns, which were fairly easy to scale. That said, chasing high-value accounts demanded some enhanced practices, including the following.

Data Collection

It was a B2B data enrichment practice before the term itself emerged: collecting contact and company-level data from LinkedIn members’ profiles. Later on, these data points feed the audience prospecting as they allow to segment the network’s audience.

Email Patterning

Possessing an email empowers marketers to run list-based campaigns and target the most valuable accounts directly. But back then, you couldn’t match the specialist’s name or other details with a business email address through B2B data providers.

So, the data vendors practiced patterning. From the collected data, they knew that a target person had assigned COMPANY LLC as their company. Consequently, their email might look like or

Obviously, such predictions were often inaccurate. Moreover, the wrong addresses hurt the email delivery rate, which increased the chances that mailers address will be blacklisted.

The Rise of Sales Intelligence Software

Early LinkedIn contact data lookup and email patterning laid the foundation for sales intelligence platforms and contact data providers. It was about 2011 when email sequencing and tracking services went big and became common for outbound prospecting and email marketing.

However, the competition between B2B data vendors has incrementally intensified. It caused prices to plummet, allowing everyone to get qualified leads for mere pennies. However, this unlimited access to B2B contact data caused a heap of trouble soon. Go-to-market teams run into:

  • Inbox Overload. Outreach emails piled up in recipients’ inboxes, and you could hardly captivate their attention.
  • Loss of Engagement. The open and response rates dropped dramatically.
  • Harsh Anti-Spam Policies.The email deliverability started to suffer due to more severe penalties for sending unsolicited emails.

Such was the backlash of what was first considered a golden ticket for outbound outreach. Marketers needed new, more mindful, and customer-centered tactics to challenge these issues.

Data Enrichment and Multi-Channel Marketing on the Rise

In the late 2010s — early 2020s, forward-thinking marketers realized that building a robust growth engine around old strategies wouldn’t do. One of the cornerstones of new approaches is switching to full-fledged multi-channel marketing and prioritizing quality over quantity.

It was the moment B2B marketers tapped into data enrichment and precise targeting. Such was the idea behind the Primer ABM targeting approach – providing a single target audience data hub integrated with third-party data and CRMs. Platforms like this allow you to build hyper-targeted audiences you can activate across multiple ad networks at once.

Therefore, you can meet an unprecedented audience reach due to increased match rates and engage high-value prospects at various touch points. Consequently, businesses can hurdle spam fatigue and nurture their target audience effectively.

Apart from that, building an agile and growth-oriented multi-channel strategy nowadays relies on:

  • Pushing B2B Ads to Consumer Platforms. Quora, YouTube, Facebook, and even TikTok can offer flexible functionality to grow brand awareness, capitalize on consumers’ demand, and captivate B2B leads.
  • Segmenting and Targeting by Intent Signals. Many data companies can provide you with contact lists formed from analyzing intent signals and behavioral data.
  • Sales and Marketing Alignment.When aligned, departments can benefit from a full-funnel view. Such an approach increases the efficiency of nurturing and sales follow-ups.

What Shapes the Future of Data-Driven B2B Marketing?

The evolution of data-driven B2B marketing gains additional momentum year after year. We can already predict what its most promising drivers will be.

  • The Omnichannel Orchestration.The growing number of customer touchpoints demands sales and marketing teams to double their joint efforts. Their job is to develop further and synchronize omnichannel messaging.
  • The Deepening Role of Intent Data.Intent signals can inform demand-generation strategies and tip marketers on what interests their most valuable prospects. Mining and acting upon this data will lead to shorter sales cycles and impressive revenue gains.
  • AI-Driven Personalization. AI tools can provide outreach professionals invaluable insights into building relevant messaging as they analyze historical data lightning-fast.

Admittedly, new challenges will emerge. However, growth marketing teams will find their way out if they adhere to quality over quantity principles and align their marketing and sales goals.


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