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Quality over quantity. It’s a mindset you could apply widely across all kinds of marketing activities. But it might apply best to your data-driven marketing strategy.

Studies show that 89% of B2B marketers believe data quality directly drives sales and marketing success. There’s just one problem—only 50% of marketers have any confidence in the quality of their marketing data.

Lack of confidence in first-party data leads plenty of B2B marketers to invest in third-party data. However, results can vary greatly.

The key to success is knowing which type of data will provide the greatest quality (and which providers you can trust).

Intent Data Precision Leads to Quality Over Quantity

In 2018, marketers in the United States spent over $19 billion on third-party data. Turning to data resellers to fill in the gaps of first-party data has become the norm as marketers try to find a balance between quality and quantity.

However, there are different levels of third-party data that could impact quality. All too often, you see marketers purchase a dataset because it provides a massive list audience-specific demographic data. The pursuit of quality falls to the wayside in favor of a spray-and-pray approach with cheap, surface-level third-party data.

If you’ve ever been frustrated by outdated, inaccurate, or otherwise flawed third-party data, you can probably track the disconnect back to one issue—imprecision.

Focusing on quality over quantity requires third-party data that is precise. That’s why intent data is such a strong investment for any B2B marketing team. By nature, intent data is more precise than generic lists of contact information or demographics.

Instead of relying on surface-level information, intent data providers use IP addresses, cookie tracking, content marketing, and analysis of buyer journeys to ensure you get the most accurate, actionable, and targeted insights.

Generally speaking, the process behind intent analytics makes this form of third-party data more reliable than others. However, it’s important not to blindly trust every intent data provider. Like any other third-party data investment, you could run into trouble working with a provider that over-promises and under-delivers.

Before you jump into a relationship with a third-party intent data provider, make sure you do your due diligence.

3 Questions to Ask an Intent Data Provider

When you’re just starting out with intent data, it can be difficult to maintain control of conversations with vendors. You want to make sure you’re working with a provider you can trust. But ultimately, they’re trying to sell you a service and if you aren’t sure how to cut through the noise, you could end up with low-quality data.

By asking a few key questions, you can make sure that the intent data you’re buying is precise enough to drive quality marketing decisions. As you evaluate intent data providers, be sure to ask:

How Was the Data Collected? Ultimately, you want your intent data provider to have insight into what is being researched, who is researching your key topics, and when key contacts are ready to buy. But to know if that data is precise, you should question how deep the datasets are, how the provider gains insight into search behavior, and how they observe buyer behavior.

Is the Data Current? Quality data is current data. You want to know exactly when the provider collected their data because behavior and intent can change daily. If intent data is more than a few weeks old, you might form a strategy that revolves around the wrong accounts, content topics, and engagement methods.

Do You Meet Data Privacy Standards? Emerging regulations like GDPR and CCPA have made it more difficult for marketers to trust third-party data providers. Even one misstep with third-party data can result in a massive fine for your company. Before choosing a provider, ask if they are compliant with data privacy regulations and how the data transfer process works.

These are just a few of the questions that will help you guarantee that you’re getting precise intent data. If you want to dig deeper into the approaches of individual providers, you need to understand the ins and outs of intent data.

For more insight into how intent data works and whether or not you can trust it, download our free report, Demystifying B2B Purchase Intent Data.