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Tuesday 8th March 2011

Business to Business data, it is a tricky language full of confusing acronyms and colloquialisms. For the uninitiated, data purchasing can go horribly wrong, with the end result being a failed campaign and wasted marketing budget. A bit like ending up with the sheep testicle stew rather than delicious rack of lamb on your holidays…grim.
As part of Databroker’s mission to cut through the cr*p and tell it how it is we have put together a series of blogs to help you understand the whys and wherefores of data. Think of us as your pocket translation guide, to help make sure that your direct marketing campaigns succeed and deliver increased sales. And let’s face it, more money is what we are all interested in.

Here is our beginners guide to Business Data jargon; Part One.

DMA: Direct Marketing Association
This is the governing body for direct marketing, they ensure all members comply to best practice guidelines and the rules and regulations of gathering, storing and selling data. You should only ever purchase from data companies who are registered DMA members. Offers that are too good to be true usually are just that. A million records for £50 on ebay is the data equivalent of ”a bloke down the pub” and could end up costing you a hundred times that in fines for data misuse – leave well alone and stick on the straight and narrow with the DMA.

Whilst we are on the subject of rules we should cover off the Suppression services;

TPS – Telephone Preference Service
MPS – Mailing Preference Service
CTPS – Corporate Preference Service

Anyone who has registered with any of the above suppression services is off-limits where dm is concerned. Aside from the fact it is against the law and will cost you thousands in fines (TPS), why bother wasting time and money trying to hook up with someone who is just not interested? It is damaging to your brand and your budget. Keep your self-respect, your money in your pocket and make sure all data you buy is screened against the relevant suppression files. This is standard for DMA members, so you shouldn’t need to worry – unless you speak to that bloke in the pub of course…

Data Licence
Data is usually sold on a lease. This means that the data owner leases you the data rather than sells you the data outright. Outright purchases are usually very expensive as data owners, understandably, want to protect the investment they have put into gathering, storing and maintaining the data. If they lease you the data then they retain ownership and you have to comply with the rules of the lease. There are two types of data licence; single-use and multiple-use for 12 months. These are fairly explanatory, single-use you can only communicate with that business or record, once. Multi-use, you can communicate with them as many times as you want within the 12-month period depending on the license.

Data Seed
“How will anyone know I am using data when I shouldn’t be?” The answer is data seeds. Every data file purchased has between 1 and 3 dummy records. These dummy records are called data seeds and they are there to monitor activity to that record. If you send an email, it’s recorded. If you send 20 emails, they are also recorded. If you use the data out of licence the seed reports will show this mis-use you will be charged, but if you comply with the rules you will be fine.

SIC Codes
Now we are getting to the nitty-gritty of actually selecting your data. SIC Codes are Standard Industry Codes. Every business is given a SIC code according to what they do. You want to sell knives? Then SIC for butchers is a good place to start. A good data salesperson should also advise you on other industries you could target that you might not have considered. For example; restaurants, catering colleges, specialist kitchenware shops and department stores.

Data Count
This one is easy, once you have decided on what industries or SIC codes to target and applied any other criteria such as business size or location; your contact will go away and get a data count for you. This is the total number of records which match your criteria, your “data pot” so to speak. From this pot you can decide on how many records you need for your campaign. In some cases the number of records will be less than you expected, in which case you can expand your criteria such as target additional industries or extend the geographical boundaries. Again, a good data broker will be able to advise on the best way to increase the data pot numbers yet maintain the campaign focus.

In order to keep your focus we will leave part-one there. We hope that you have found this blog useful, please let us know your comments. If you have any questions or need free, independent advice on sourcing and selecting data for your direct marketing then give us a call or email info@data-broker.co.uk, we would love to help.

Check back soon for part-two when we will be looking at Data Recency, Actual v Modelled data, Tele-verification and Data Audits.

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