• Helen Pritchett

The Data Sourcing Dilemma

Marketing is more data-driven than ever. Building new relationships and winning new business relies on making new contacts. To make new contacts you need fresh data. The key is where to get this fresh data in the era of personal data protection, GDPR and ePrivacy. GDPR has, rightfully, made us all, whether in the B2C or B2B world, consider the usage of our personal data more carefully.

Fundamental to your data-driven marketing strategy is sourcing your data with care.

How safe is your data source?

Choosing contact data that is safe to use is paramount. It sounds simple – do your background research, verify the provenance of any data list, do your due diligence. Check that any data is GDPR ready, that contacts have been checked and cleansed and that consent, or legitimate interest, are valid bases for contact.

Pedigree isn’t just for dogs.

Choose a data supplier that has pedigree and credibility in the industry. Have an in-depth conversation. Ask for a sample list. You weren’t born yesterday so you’ll get a good idea if what you hear sounds dodgy. If the data supplier fills you with confidence and welcome searching questions, it’s likely they are reliable and trustworthy, and therefore will hold data that is also reliable and trustworthy.

It’s imperative that you target new contacts safely, using the right data from a reputable source.

Five steps to safe data sourcing

Here’s a five-step checklist to help you evaluate potential new data providers, or for taking a second look at the ones you already use:

1. Clarity of Methodology: Differences between providers can come to light when you clarify how they derive their data sets. Ask data providers about their data sourcing methodology to discover what sets them apart from others.

2. Best Before Date: The accuracy, and therefore value, of any database degrades quickly. Mergers, acquisitions, illness and promotions all result in data holes. It has been suggested that 4-year-old data can be up to 80% obsolete. Choose a partner than cleanses and refreshes data regularly. Fresh data is a quick and reliable method to double your prospecting lead rates overnight.

3. Segmentation: Data providers worth exploring won’t lump all contact data into one segment. They’ll create multiple segments to cater for any needs with an industry sector. For example, a list won’t simply contain IT Security users, it will be broken down into various types of IT Security product/service. This granulation will provide the option to choose either a niche data set, or a standard and broad audience set, depending on your campaign goals.

4. Segment Descriptions: The attention a data provider puts into their sourcing can be demonstrated in the description of their segments. Reading them will give you insight into whether or not a particular data set will work for you and, most importantly, will give you the ability to target and personalise to a very granular level. For example, you might want to segment for companies with over 1000 seats, who use IT Security software, whose current product is up for renewal within the next 6 months and that are based within the M25.

5. Analyse the Data on Your Data: The good thing about the data available to marketers is there is usually performance data on it. Any data provider worth talking to should be open about what’s worked well historically and how they’ve iterated on their data ever since a segment was created.

The points above provide a basic data sourcing blueprint to help with vetting data providers. The points should enable you to have more productive conversations. As a result, you are likely to find out what else is important to you and how you can build a stronger corporate data strategy.

The data scientists at ProspectaBase are passionate about the ongoing innovation, expansion and integrity of its database. Coupled with the ProspectaBase data research team, everyone shares the same mission, to continuously develop data accuracy, intelligence and breadth.

At ProspectaBase we cleanse our data daily. We view every call as an opportunity to ensure our data is squeaky clean, accurate and will provide the best possible results for our clients.

Data sourcing is the cement that underpins your data-driven marketing strategy. Data-driven marketing is the key to brand stretch and the ability to nurture prospects from top to bottom of funnel.

Smart data leads to smart marketing. Don’t delay, it's time to get smart with your data.

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