"Trick or Treat" may be a beloved phrase come Halloween, but it takes on a whole new meaning for many B2B marketers whenever a lead generation campaign is deployed: Will its performance be an absolute treat bag full of results, or do the open, bounce-back, and click-through rates point toward some kind of trickery?

Unfortunately, what we often get is the latter. And, when do, the culprit is often a scary-looking database.

One NetProspex analysis found that business-records data decays at 2% per month, and SiriusDecisions has reported that up to 30% of a contact database goes bad each year. So, marketers who have not reviewed their databases since last Halloween (or even earlier—eek!) could be in for some major scares when they issue their next campaign.

Here are the five easiest "tricks" to get more treats from your B2B marketing database this Halloween—and long thereafter.

1. Identify the scariest data

In 2011 alone, more than 48 million people changed jobs. With change like that, a lot of really ghoulishly information is inevitably lurking in your database.

Instead of letting it scare you, face it full on by conducting a complete assessment that explores what information is missing, what information is wrong, and what information needs to be updated. Doing so could involve flagging and filling in incomplete records, removing dead zombie records, or eliminating duplicate records from some of those 48 million people who switched jobs.

2. Focus on the good stuff

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image of Maribeth Ross

Maribeth Ross is the chief content officer and managing director of Aberdeen Group, a provider of research and content marketing solutions.

Twitter: @MaribethRoss

LinkedIn: Maribeth Ross