Why buying data has a bad reputation

In any industry there are cowboys, and sadly there are many in the world of B2B data. As technology developed, and the use of mobile phones and the internet increased, more data including mobile phone numbers and email addresses became readily available.

With more of this contact data becoming available online, it became easier for this information to be ‘scraped’ from websites. People extract, aggregate and combine this scraped information from various sources and store it as a rudimentary ‘database’, selling on all or part of this data.

The GDPR does not prohibit data scraping but the ‘lawful grounds for processing’ that form part of the regulation still apply. This is why you need to be scrupulous about which B2B data provider you work with to ensure the data you plan to use has been curated responsibly. We’ll come on to how to spot a dodgy data broker later…

Consequences of misusing data

You should be familiar with our friends the UK GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and PECR (Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations) by now.

The consequences for infringements of the UK GDPR are a maximum fine of £17.5 million or 4% of annual global turnover – whichever is greater.

If you breach PECR you risk criminal prosecution, non-criminal enforcement, and potentially an audit. The ICO can also serve a monetary penalty notice imposing a fine of up to £500,000 which can be issued against your organisation or its directors.

This alone is probably a sobering thought, but as well as these very serious consequences, misusing B2B data or buying from a less than reputable supplier can also:

  • Damage your IP address or domain reputation
  • Damage your business reputation
  • Bring complaints against you and your business
  • Restrict you use of email service provider – your provider may freeze your service if your emails generate a high spam score

What to look out for & why we are different

On the surface you might think that all B2B data suppliers are the same, but nothing could be further from the truth: not all data suppliers are created equal! Here are some things to consider when looking for a reputable and safe data supplier:

Look for Accreditations & Awards – As an example, we are founding members of the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) and we are Cyber Essentials certified – we proudly show this on our website.

Advice & guidance – You should be wary of any provider that is happy to sell data to you without offering you any kind of consultation to ensure that what you are asking for will generate the results you are aiming for. Our team is full of experience, we love nothing more than supporting our clients and sharing our expertise with them to help drive success.

Data should be treated respectfully – Here at Marketscan we license the data from our database. This means that clients can use a dataset for a specific period of time, with a fair usage policy that prevents over usage.

Policies – Beware of any supplier that does not have comprehensive policies in place; we have an anti-spam policy and have clauses that prevent data misuse in our terms & conditions.

Contact – Does the supplier have a website with contact details? Are they communicative and knowledgeable about data regulations?

How we source our data & our stringent processes

The Marketscan Megabase™ is the only B2B database that combines the five top UK data sources into one meticulously blended file of decision makers.

We provide a top-of-the-industry postal deliverability warranty of 98% on company names and addresses – 4% higher than recommended by the Data & Marketing Association.

Our email deliverability warranty is 90% – one of the highest in the industry.

Seven million records and over 800,000 updates are received and processed every single month at Marketscan – the highest in the UK. New businesses are added, gone-aways removed and change of location and contact names updated. In addition, more than 40 quality checks are performed on each Megabase™ record.

Our tagline is ‘Data you can trust’ for a reason!

What about GDPR, TPS/CTPS and third-party data?

Marketscan holds one of the largest, legally compliant email feeds in the UK. The emails supplied by Marketscan for third-party direct marketing are all corporate emails and meet the requirements of the UK GDPR.

PECR deals with gaining permission to send marketing by email. The general rule is that you must gain prior consent to send a marketing email. However, in a B2B environment, there is an exemption for employees of corporates – you can send a marketing email to these individuals without their prior consent. However, you must not email sole traders and partnerships as they are treated in the same way as consumers. If you are using third-party data, you must make sure that these businesses are not sole traders or partnerships.

If you’re planning on running a telemarketing campaign, you should think about screening your data to ensure you comply with the law – you need to ensure that any telephone numbers you call do not appear on the Telephone Preference Service or Corporate Telephone Preference Service registers.

Every business is required to check the data they hold against these registers at least every 28 days – if you don’t, you could face a fine. We offer a free TPS/CTPS checker where you can check up to 10 numbers each day free of charge, or we offer an in-depth data cleansing service where we can identify any data in your database that you are unable to contact.

My email service provider won’t allow third-party data – what can I do?

Many marketing email service providers do not allow third-party data to be used, as they are understandably concerned about the rise of malicious and illegal data usage.

This presents a problem for businesses trying to reach potential new customers. The great news is that we can help! Marketscan Edge is an email platform that does allow the use of third-party data and can be used to warm up your leads, ready for them to be moved into your main CRM.

With Marketscan Edge we can set you up with a separate email sending domain for your campaigns, meaning you can send large volume campaigns without risking your business IP reputation. Marketscan Edge also allows you to create mobile responsive campaigns quickly and easily, as well as offering the option to test your messaging with split tests.

For more information, take a look at our Marketscan Edge service page.

Third-party data has unfortunately inherited a bad reputation from those who don’t play by the rules. If you’re planning a campaign and have any questions about using third-party data, don’t hesitate to contact us for advice.

Related Topics: B2B data