Choosing the right marketing data will directly impact the success or failure of your marketing campaign.

Below are 10 questions to consider when purchasing marketing data for your business.

1) Who are your targeting

Direct marketing is all about targeting relevant prospects directly.  Take time to think about who your are targeting and why.

A good source of guidance for selecting new marketing data is your current customer database.  Use it to tell you the current profile of your profitable customers.  Try to discover defining features of them: Are they larger companies?  Are they geographically biased?  What type of industry are they in?  What contact usually buys?  or How old are they? Do they have any similar interest?  What is the marital / family status?

All information you can gather will help guide you towards a more bespoke profile of likely prospects.

2) What is the marketing data for?

There is little point in purchasing marketing data if the objective of how to use it has not been thought through.

  • What will the data be used for – research, marketing, sales, lead generation?
  • How are you wanting to communicate – direct mail, telephone, email, or a mixture of all of them?
  • Is the list to be an integral part of a mixed marketing campaign?
  • Does the list need extra data information added and should it be segmented?

Without a structured strategy, buying a list is likely to be a waste of time & money.

3) How will the marketing data be used?

Within the proposed strategy is there a need to use data more than once.

Data providers charge on a basis of how many times the data will be used OR what period of time is the data required to be used.  The contract you sign will specify that usage and legal penalties incurred if the licence is broken.

Generally, the licence is for Single Use, or Multi Use (with a number of uses or possibly 1-year unlimited use) or purchase. Naturally if a record is contacted and the recipient becomes part of your own database, the record becomes your own intellectual property.

4) What information do you need to know?

Your strategy should determine the data elements required with your listing.  Requesting emails will reduce the volume (as not every record has an email), similarly with telephone numbers.  In addition, the telephone numbers need to be TPS and CTPS checked which again reduces volume.  On emails it may be that you require only personal emails as against generic which further reduces volume.

Depending on how you selected the profile, check if that selection is shown on output.  Finally, on the contacts position, is there 3 fields of gender, forename and surname or is it all in one field.

5) Choosing the right selections – B2B Data

B2B data is around 3 million UK active trading companies. Different providers have differing volumes and differing selections, but as a rule the following are standard.

  • Geographical covers a region. a postcode, a radius of a postcode or a set of postcodes.
  • Company size is determined by number of employees (permanent not part time) and turnover (Only PLC and Ltd companies submitting returns to Company House)
  • Contact generally is senior decision maker at site but other positions can be selected.
  • Industry SIC is common but with limited targeting, whilst Classification Codes gives a more defined category may be chosen via nearly 2300 business category types.

There are other selections available from other databases including

Head Office, Profit or Loss, Tax Year end, Field Engineers, New Companies, Telecom spend, Computer Software and many more.

6) Choosing the right Selections – B2C Data

The volumes of records vary dramatically between differing databases.  Some are massive (35 million) others as low as maybe 100k if compiled as a niche market.

Consumer databases there are really no basic selections but there are hundreds of selections that can match most bespoke required requests.

  • Geographical is standard and contact is generally personal.
  • Lifestyle, interests,
  • Home possessions,
  • Shopping,
  • Ages Birthdays,
  • Children,
  • Motoring, Occupations, Debt, Marital Status, Residency, Travel are all quite general

Samples of other selections – Opportunities, Gambling, Medical History, Financial Investment, Energy etc

7) Ask for advice

Every database has it’s own pro’s and con’s, with differing methods of compilation, updating and selection.  Talking to a reputable provider about what your aims are instead of just what you want, means they can offer not only good advice but also potential additional “out the box” ideas based on lists that you may not have known were available.  For example if you ask for builders that is what many suppliers will provide but you may actually only require house builders, property developers, house restorers, house building groups or builders with 10+ permanent staff.  Asking for the data providers advice is free but could save you  both time & money.

Data brokers  can often be provide more options as they have no bias towards any specific database, and have a greater knowledge of other possible databases that matches your required profile.

8) Are there any extra costs?

There are many options when purchasing marketing data, but every database will have it’s own standards for minimum orders, delivery, setup fees etc.  These items should be made clear to you when you first request a quote, but if not ask, it might be they make the list prohibitive for your purpose.

Some Examples:

  • Minimum Order: Very often B2B databases will have a minimum order of 1000 records, whereas B2C database frequently have minimum orders of 5,000 or even 10,000 records.
  • Delivery: Delivery is now more often not free, but some suppliers can still charge upto £100.
  • Format:  The format that you receive your list normally will be a csv, or Excel file, however most formats can generally be accommodated.  If you have any special requirements, it is worth mentioning before you finalise your order.
  • Set Up Fee:  This is thankfully becoming less common and most database this is a free service but some suppliers charge for making selections on their data.and costs can vary between £10 and £100. Always check before signing.

9) Get the best price for the right marketing data

Every company wants to save money and get the best deal, but buying the cheapest database probably won’t be either of those things.

Building and maintaining a marketing database costs a lot of money, with thousands of changes every week and numerous regulations having to be met to ensure compliance with the law.  If you are paying a price that seems considerably lower, this normally indicates that the database was not built, or maintained in a proper manner.  These databases will be inaccurate, poorly profiled, not legal compliant and can be the most expensive deal you complete.  The wastage of time, money, resources and the frustration coupled with staff morale and needing to buy again is damaging while exposing yourself to possible heavy fines if the data causes complaints that the data was not managed correctly.

Prices for different styles of databases do vary enormously and it is so difficult to compare one quotation with another without knowing the details of each database. Working with a reputable, experienced broker can reap rewards allowing you to discuss the different types of data available.  The solution is not to ask a young assistant to obtain the quote.  Know exactly what you require, enquire yourself and ask the right questions and the quotes to be compared should at least resemble some molecule of similar balanced data information.

10) When do you need the marketing data?

It may sound like a silly pint, but if you leave buying your list until the very last minute and need the data today!! then you are going to severely limit which databases you can choose from.

Some data suppliers can take up-to 2 days to provide a quote, and 5 days to provide the list.  You database is the most important element of your marketing, because no matter how perfect your message, design or offer if it does not go to the right person it will not get a response.

Allow yourself time to choose the right database then to refine down the options to get the most targeted data for your purpose.

10 Considerations in Choosing the Right Marketing Data for You
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10 Considerations in Choosing the Right Marketing Data for You
Choosing the right marketing data will directly impact the success of your marketing campaign. Here are 10 questions to consider when buying marketing listss for your business.
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