We just published a new report on the B2B marketing data providers landscape — Forrester clients can read the “Now Tech: B2B Marketing Data Providers, Q1 2021” here — but I also wanted to share a few additional observations that place this point in time within the context of the market’s ongoing evolution.

For this report, we broke down the overall landscape into four segments by focusing on the types and breadth of data offered by representative vendors: comprehensive marketing and sales data solutions, behavioral data solutions, technographics data solutions, and sales contact data solutions. This is a meaningful distinction for companies like yours considering a new data provider or reevaluating your existing solutions — but you should also know it’s getting harder to maintain these distinctions. Even “specialist” vendors such as those focused on behavioral or technographics data can now offer a wide variety of complementary data types — such as firmographic company data and demographic contact data — that they license from other data providers and/or collect from public sources.

It’s also worth noting that this is the first time we’ve categorized providers focused on behavioral data as a separate market segment. The success of these solutions, which provide insights on customer behavior throughout their digital buying journeys to help organizations prioritize and personalize their marketing and sales engagement, has resulted in an explosion of market entrants offering a wide variety of signals gathered from first-, second-, and third-party sources. It’s not “intent data” — that’s an inference made from the analysis of behavioral data and a term too often used to ascribe more significance to these signals than they actually represent — but it is an important market category and topic that we will continue to cover closely. Forrester clients can read more on this topic here.

And while it remains true that no single solution in this market is the “silver bullet” that can solve all your data challenges — most B2B companies use multiple vendors, and the largest companies tend to collect data from all the vendors — the leading comprehensive marketing and sales data solutions continue to expand their offerings with new data sources and types, as well as complementary services and applications designed to address marketing, sales, and data management use cases. So if you’re a customer of one of these companies, this would be a good time to check in with your account team to get an update on their current offerings and roadmap. I’m consistently surprised by how many calls I have with clients where I end up recommending that they speak with one of their existing vendors that has the functionality or a related solution that can address their challenges.

Looking forward, I’m currently working on an evaluation of the comprehensive marketing and sales data solutions and planning to publish a Forrester Wave™ evaluation on this segment in just a few months — so stay tuned for more insights on this critically important and rapidly evolving marketplace!