In the world of B2B data, not all records are equal. If you’re considering purchasing a data list – or lists – it can be easy to think that it doesn’t matter where – and whom – you buy it from. In fact, it matters very much.
The quality of your B2B data has a direct impact on your organisation, and on your ability to hit your marketing and sales targets and grow your business. So it’s important to choose a good list provider to supply you with the high quality, targeted and legally compliant data that you need.
Where is your data sourced from?
If you’re buying data, you need to establish its source of origin. Has it been obtained ethically and legally? Or is there some ambiguity about where it’s come from? Things may seem fine on the surface, but appearances can be deceptive, so it’s vital to delve a little deeper before handing over your money. Try not to be too swayed by the price either. Yes, it’s an important consideration in any business decision – but the lowest price doesn’t necessarily mean the lowest cost to your business. Compiling high-quality data lists requires time and resources and this will be reflected in the price quoted by a good provider. A price that’s too good to be true may indicate that a provider has cut corners.
There are a number of important questions that it’s a good idea to ask. For example, have the people on the list given their permission to be contacted? With telephone numbers, for instance, it is illegal to call anyone whose details appear on the TPS or CTPS registers. Can your partner provide deliverability guarantees? It’s unlikely that you will ever achieve a 100
per cent deliverability rate as the variables are too numerous. But your provider should be able to demonstrate that your direct mail and emails will get to their intended recipients the majority of the time.
And don’t underestimate the power of your intuition. If you’re not convinced that your potential list provider is reputable, don’t dismiss your uneasiness. A good partner will be easily contactable through more than one route; they will be open about where they have obtained their data from – and, more importantly, they will be able to show evidence to prove it; and they will happily answer any questions you might have.
Is your data clean?
“Dirty” data will corrupt your marketing and sales efforts, preventing you from forming connections with the right people. There is a huge difference between clean data and dirty data. The former is accurate, thorough, correctly formatted and legal; the latter is not – although it may meet some of these criteria.
Therefore, when purchasing data, you need to be absolutely sure that it is clean. Otherwise, you run the risk of paying for records that will end up costing your business far more in the long run. Whether because you waste time and resources sending out marketing mail to addresses that are spelt completely wrong, or you land a large phone bill after calling up people that have no interest in your product or service: there is a hefty price tag attached to dirty data.
If you want to explore this topic further, we have discussed data cleanliness and the problem of dirty data in a number of recent blog posts:
- 3 ways dirty data could damage your business
- Does your organisation need a B2B data audit?
- 3 simple steps to effective data cleaning
Is your data legal?
We’ve covered this point already but, as you can imagine, it is worth reiterating. So can you be absolutely sure that you are allowed to contact the people whose information is contained in the records you’re purchasing?
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) hands out hefty fines to companies that carry out unsolicited sales and marketing calls. Recently, in May 2016, a claims management company that made 17.5 million calls asking people if they had suffered hearing loss at work was fined £250,000 by the ICO.
So when it comes to buying a data list – or lists – it’s vital to establish that you are buying high-quality B2B data from an excellent provider. That is a partner who can tell you exactly where your data has been sourced from, and who can assure you that it is both clean and legally compliant.
There’s no doubt about it: B2B data is not all the same.