23rd January 2014Back to Blog
If you’re new to sourcing marketing data, it can seem like a pretty daunting task. You have probably googled marketing lists or something similar and are faced with millions of results and pages of adverts.
So where do you start? Who should you contact and what should you ask for? I have put together a check list which will really help you to get suitable, tangible information to help you with your search.
For this I have detailed my top 10 tips for making this process as smooth as possible:
1. Whittle out any undesirables. Just like every sector, the direct marketing industry has a very small number of rogue traders. With all UK suppliers, you should check that they are members of the Direct Marketing Association (www.dma.org.uk). If you’re sourcing data from overseas, you can also check the relevant marketing associations within that country, most have one. Check out Databroker’s resources section for a list of DMA’s around the World. ps companies which accept payments via paypal – cross off your list!
2. Request the key information in writing, this way it’s much easier to review like for like quotes and check that all of the information matches what you’re after.
3. When you detail your brief, include all of the relevant information including geography, contact fields, industries, sizes of companies and contact roles for B2B data and details of profiles, wealth, geography, contact methods and lifestyle selections for B2C data.
4. Ask for written guarantees on the accuracy of the data and their policy for replacement if there are any issues with the file. Don’t just accept a salesperson word for it.
5. Ask to see and verify some sample data, this helps you to understand how the data will be displayed. Always ask for a random sample; however don’t assume this is always the case!
6. View breakdowns of the data (especially relevant for B2B requests), such as the volumes in each industry and the sizes of the companies. This allows you to understand the profile of companies in the data and check it matches your brief.
7. Verify what usage options are available, for example single use and 12 month multiple use. Check if there are any restrictions, often suppliers will limit the number of email uses in a 12 month period.
8. Speak to people as well as emailing. This is vital as many providers who hide behind a website tend to be the more suspect suppliers. Speak to a human being and sound them out.
9. Remember; whilst volume discounts can be enticing, it may often be better to test smaller volumes of data to ensure that the source which you’ve selected is suitable for you.
10. Research the company further to check out their reputation. This includes their website and how up to date it is, their testimonials and any 3rd party websites which they’re featured on, such as the Recommended Agency Register (www.recommendedagencies.com) and Free Index.
Finally couple of general pointers to make sure that the company you are dealing with are who they say they are and have the right direct marketing credentials.
Credit check the company. If they only turnover 40k yet have the “worlds best data” with “2000 telemarketers” in-house cleaning the data; then they are lying – it doesn’t add up. We know of companies who operate in this manner.
Also check the linked in profile of sales person you are speaking to. Were they a hairdresser or in recruitment two years ago? Are they qualified to advise you on your direct marketing and previous budget or are they journeyman field sales who change company every year after missing most sales targets?
If you follow this process, you’re giving your marketing campaigns the best chance of success.
Data which is sourced from suitable providers or data brokers and matched closely to your brief can give exceptional results. However at the other end of the spectrum, data which isn’t sourced in accordance with best practice, not related to your brief and/or is inaccurate will have dire consequences.