Why good data is queen and wears the trousers

Jonathan Perelman, VP of Agency Strategy at BuzzFeed once said; “Content is king, but distribution is queen, and she wears the pants.” I strongly agree with him although I am sure he means trousers. I would take it a step further and say that the quality of one’s data in specific is queen and wears the trousers.

You might wonder why good data is so important. Indeed, I see many companies with a great big database which they have compiled over the years.  The list is normally a mixture of current and former clients, prospects and various contacts who approached the company over the years. If this is your marketing list, I think you need to review it for the following reasons:

  • Much of the information is likely to be out of date: some companies will have closed and decision makers have moved on.
  • The list covers a mix of target markets: customers, suppliers and introducers. It makes creating a targeted message very hard.
  • The new GDPR rules mean that you will need to obtain consent from at least a part of the contacts on the list, in order to continue sending them marketing e-mails.

What do I suggest that you do instead? I would recommend buying a data list from a good source over any other method. Just before you rush into getting one, you should consider the following elements:

  • Identify your specific target markets’ industries
  • Identify your specific target companies’ size and employee numbers
  • Identify the relevant decision makers you would like to approach
  • Consider the appropriate geographic footprint
  • Consider the size of your list and allocate a budget

My recommendation would be to approach a list broker, who can research a number of optional lists and buy up to 2000 contacts, no more. Another important factor is to ensure that the data is GDPR compliant.

Buying a data list would mean that you can tick many boxes around obtaining specific data. However, I would recommend that you consider doing some further research of your list to make your marketing campaign more successful. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Connecting with all senior contacts on your list through LinkedIn. This will allow you to start a relationship and find out more about their current needs.
  • Finding additional contacts who may be involved in making the buying decision. Sending communications to a variety of contacts within an organisation, particularly a large one, increases your chances of getting a response.
  • Review the companies’ websites to identify additional key information such as new products, new projects, new recruitment drives, new senior appointments etc.

You will be absolutely right to say that doing this kind of research in large volumes is very time consuming. This is why I recommend that you buy a smaller list or prioritise specific companies within it to make the project more manageable. Another option is to outsource the data research to a third party.

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