Global Database vs DNB Hoovers, LinkedIn, ZoomInfo and Insideview

When putting a marketing campaign together, the quality of contact data you use will be critical to success. After assessing the importance of database quality, B2B marketing experts Circle Research discovered that:

  • Database accuracy improves email marketing effectiveness by 38%
  • Database relevance improves email effectiveness by 39%[1]

[1] Email Marketing in B2B — Circle Research —

Good quality data effectively boosts campaign success by more than a third, which means that the choice of contacts database vendor for your campaigns is vital. Here are the top 5 B2B information providers compared.

Global Database

Already favoured by global organisations like Microsoft[1], Vodafone, Dell, KPMG and DHL, Global Database prides itself on refreshing data daily to ensure maximum accuracy. The platform provides subscribers with access to millions of company records across 195 countries, and can be further filtered and segmented based on industry, region, headcount, and corporate turnover.

One of the major selling points for Global Database is the ability to access the direct contact details of over 50 million decision makers across the world. By being able to bypass gatekeepers and reach key individual direct, the vendor promises a far higher success rate for campaigns run using their data.

Although subscription based, Global Database users are permitted to export as much data as they want from the platform into Excel. They can then use this information to populate their own CRM system, or even for data cleansing exercises. The data is theirs to keep and do with what they please.

Data is refreshed daily to ensure maximum accuracy and to prevent wasted spend by clients. Subscribers can also configure alerts that inform them when a contact changes jobs so that they can update their own records, or adjust mailing lists accordingly.

Despite having millions of records available, subscriptions are provided on a country by country basis. Organisations running a global campaign may need to subscribe to multiple data sets.

Prices start at USD $1,990 per subscription, which could be considered expensive for start-ups with small marketing budgets.

Although Global Database is fully provisioned with direct dial numbers, they do not offer cellphone details for the contacts listed.


As part of the Dun & Bradstreet group of companies, Hoover’s is a well-respected, well-established provider of corporate data. As well as basic contact information, they also offer insight and analysis of companies and industries providing context for marketers designing campaigns.

The Hoover’s dataset contains 100 million contacts, working at over 85 million companies in 900 industries worldwide.

Hoover’s is well-established, and well-trusted, a reputation earned through the quality and reliability of their data.

Hoover’s is only able to provide direct email and phone contact details for individuals based in the USA. Marketers hoping to target individuals elsewhere in the world cannot get the information they need.

Although Hoover’s subscribers have unlimited access to data, they cannot perform Excel/CSV exports without paying an additional fee.

Although billed as only costing USD$50 per user per month, Hoover’s is subject to a 5 license minimum. As a result, the minimum annual fee for using the system is USD$3000.


Widely regarded as ‘the’ place for professional social networking. From 4500 members in 2003, LinkedIn has grown to a registered membership of more than 433 million people. The company was recently acquired by Microsoft.

Because it has established itself as the perfect CV hosting/headhunting service, LinkedIn is the perfect place to hunt down specific contact details — typically direct email addresses

The LinkedIn business model is built on selling targeted advertisements to their users. Marketers can select a specific target demographic they want to show ads to, but they cannot access those details for use in their own campaigns.

Even more problematic is that users do not have to display contact details on their profiles. So even if marketers build an extensive network of contacts, they still may not be able to acquire the details they need for an independent marketing campaign.


According to Zoominfo, they have 140 million contact details available for use by marketers[2]collected since the company was formed in 2000. They have gone on to win many awards for their services, including a position in the Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private companies.

With 140 million contacts at 9.3 million organisations, Zoominfo has plenty of available contact details. They also claim to have 31 million direct dial numbers in their dataset[3].

Zoominfo provide additional data processing that adds additional value for their customers. Adding context to the data allows for more granular segmentation and finer campaign targeting.

According to Zoominfo, 95% of emails sent using their data is delivered successfully. They also claim that 2% of all mails sent result in a scheduled meeting with prospects.

Zoominfo works on a pre-paid credit system, debiting the client’s account every time they view or download a contact record. This makes managing the budget for contact list creation quite difficult — and expensive.

Zoominfo relies on an Outlook plugin to access their users’ address books. The plugin then uploads their entire address book to Zoominfo’s database. This means that many people have their details uploaded without their permissions — which patent attorney Gene Quinn claims violates copyright law[4].


Used by more than 20,000 companies for their sales and marketing efforts, Insideview also supports direct integration with several leading CRM systems. They also claim to offer real-time insights based on social and news data to add value to their contacts list.

Firmly targeted at small and medium businesses, even the smallest marketing budget should be able to cover an InsideView subscription.

InsideView can be integrated with a number of popular CRM platforms, allowing users to access contact details seamlessly. This also makes the task of running a CRM-powered campaign far easier.

InsideView uses more that 40,000 data sources to collect the details of 30 million decision makers working at 12.3 million companies in 180 countries worldwide.

Despite having so many contacts, the data held on each remains relatively basic. The other platforms mentioned here offer many more details per contact than InsideView.

Which is right for you?

Every platform covered here has tis strengths and weaknesses, although some of the problems discussed could seriously hamper your campaigns. Questions about legality of some services (Zoominfo) or the ability to export data (LinkedIn) are probably grounds to avoid those services entirely — even if they do have their “fans”.

In terms of pricing, Hoover’s will be far beyond the budget constraints of many SMEs, whilst the unpredictable pricing structure of Zoominfo makes it very difficult to budget effectively. The flat-fee approach of Global Database may be slightly more than some businesses want to pay, but it does allow for unlimited data export, providing additional value in the process.

Your marketing team needs to carefully balance their data requirements against budget to define which platform is the closest match. And hopefully this guide has gone some way towards helping you decide.

[1] Microsoft choose Global Database as the first source for Lead Generation —
[2] About us — Zoominfo —
[3] Ibid.
[4] Zoominfo’s Blatant Copyright Infringement — Gene Quinn —

Entrepreneur. Founder CEO at Global Database. Hi — nice to meet you here. I’m passionate to write about B2B sales and marketing, providing useful insights.

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