At 20+years old, digital B2B lead generation has reached maturity. Unfortunately, the industry hasn’t. As the digital first world continues to drive changes in B2B purchasing, marketing and sales, digital lead generation has become a mainstay. At the same time so have fraudulent, low quality and increasingly illegal techniques to create “leads.” It’s time we cleaned up the B2B lead generation industry. 

At Pipeline360, the sister brand to Integrate, we have a unique vantage point to witness firsthand the challenges and disruptions caused by BOT traffic, fraudulent lead generation activities, poor data quality, inadequate data privacy measures, and the proliferation of bad actors. These issues not only undermine the trust and health of our digital ecosystems but also result in significant financial and reputational damage to businesses across sectors. 

Data privacy, quality and compliance have reached a critical point. Fifteen states in the USA have added specific data privacy laws affecting how we do marketing, increasing the risks of expensive fines and poor brand exposure. What was once merely a problem of poor-quality leads has now become a violation of state law. 

The Impact of Current Challenges:

  • BOT Traffic: As of 2022, leading cybersecurity firm Imperva research showed that nearly half, 47.4%, of all Internet traffic was generated by BOTS. The proliferation of BOTS, including their ability to complete form-fills, leads to inflated engagement metrics and a distorted understanding of campaign effectiveness.
  • Fraudulent Lead Generation: Unethical practices result in the acquisition of leads through deceptive means, compromising the quality of the data and eroding trust between marketers and their prospects.
  • Poor Data Quality: The lack of rigorous data validation processes leads to inaccurate targeting, wasted resources, and missed opportunities.
  • Lack of Data Privacy: Inadequate measures to protect user data not only violate regulatory requirements but also jeopardize customer trust and loyalty.
  • Bad Actors: The entry of fraudulent entities into the market floods the ecosystem with low-quality leads, diminishing the value of genuine marketing efforts.

Our Commitment to Data Privacy Protection

At Pipeline360 and Integrate, we have dedicated over $60 million to develop advanced technology solutions that address data privacy, governance, and compliance. We have also invested in a full-time team of legal and data security professionals to monitor, audit, and manage data privacy and compliance. In addition, we've taken the uniquely rigorous step of having our processes audited to pass ISO and SOC certifications. 

These practices stand as testaments to our commitment to data privacy, quality, and compliance. Through our efforts, we aspire to set a benchmark for operational excellence and ethical marketing practices in the digital age. 

Moving Forward

The challenges our industry faces require a concerted effort from all stakeholders in the B2B digital marketing community—customers, agencies, partners, competitors, platform providers, investors, and beyond.

It is important that we implement rigorous standards for data quality, advocate for transparency, enforce privacy protections, and root out bad actors from our ecosystem. We will need to: 

  1. Adopt and promote advanced data validation and compliance technologies.
  2. Commit to transparency in lead generation validation, data privacy and compliance processes and procedures. 
  3. Engage in open dialogues about challenges and solutions in data privacy and quality.
  4. Support initiatives aimed at identifying and excluding bad actors from the market.

Cleaning up the B2B lead generation market is not just an ethical imperative—it is a strategic necessity for sustainable growth and innovation in our industry. Let's build a foundation of trust, quality, and excellence that will drive our collective success for years to come. Let us take this step forward, not just for our immediate benefit but for the legacy we leave for the future of digital marketing.

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