Poor Data silent killer of Marketing Campaigns

Poor data quality is one of the universal problems for B2B marketers with a 25 % of the average B2B marketer’s database deemed inaccurate and 60 % of companies struggling with an overall data health that is ‘unreliable.’ A recent report surveyed 775,000 leads generated for B2B marketers in the technology industry and found that total leads generated resulted in 60 % that was deemed good, and 40 % that failed because of missing fields, duplicate data, invalid emails, addresses and the like. A 40 % fail rate on prospect data quality should not be the norm, and is considered a ‘silent killer’ of marketing campaigns.

The biggest issues facing B2B marketers dealing with poor quality data include duplicate data – defined as having the same name twice – and missing fields which include having the name and address but no email or phone information. Other issues include invalid formatting, where a lead may have all the required information but is not formatted according to marketer specifications.

Additionally, invalid values/ranges are a lead that may contain a New York business address but only leads from California are acceptable. Further, if the prospect works for a company of 50-100 employees when the campaign parameters specify that no prospects of less than 500 employees will be accepted is a significant cause of poor data.

“The issue of data quality continues to be one of the biggest roadblocks to effectively analyzing the prospect and customer journey. It also dramatically increases the costs of analytics projects and negatively impacts performance, said Sameer Khan, senior product marketing manager and IBM customer analytics in the report.

The study finds that poor-quality data affect small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), enterprise and media companies alike with 38 percent of SMB leads, 39% of enterprise leads and 41 percent of Media Company produced leads not reaching their intended target. The biggest culprit is duplicate data followed by invalid ranges and missing fields, the study suggests.


Overall, with duplicates and erroneous information, lead errors occur 33 % of the time. While failed email validation makes up just over 6 % of leads analyzed, with the average B2B lead price at over $50, this is considered a wasted media spend. Additionally, duplicate data comprises 15 % of invalid leads across all three categories, while 10 % are invalid ranges and 8 % are missing fields. Failed email validation and failed address validation make up the remaining 7%.

Garbage data

“Garbage data seems to be the ‘cigarette smoke’ of the marketing community. Everyone knows it exists, we know it will kill you but we keep doing the same bad practices and attempting to solve this huge problem with small strokes,” said Justin Gray, CEO LeadMD in the report.

Finally, manual processes used to identify and correct the quality of a lead are prone to human error. Without data governance software, on average, companies analyzing the study would have to catch and correct a combined total of 313,890 lead errors.

“Data is the oil of any marketing engine, and in order to create perpetual demand generation, data accuracy needs to be a top priority. Marketers must be ruthless and deliberate about data quality and standardization at a point of entry,” noted Jonathan Burg, senior director of marketing and customer acquisition with Apperian.