I have one major problem with companies buying data for marketing purposes to replace existing data and it is this – if you have already communicated with your current list then there is always real value here, don’t look to replace it.
It’s not about having new contacts, it’s about the communication and relationships you already have.
If the results you’re getting are not what you expect then buying another list is not going to make it better.
You need to focus on the communications plans and turning them into leads or sales.
Those not converting must be nurtured until a time for them comes to make contact.
The problems are about your ability to maintain the current list and to extract sufficient marketing return.
If you keep on buying data then you never really take advantage of any data you have bought.
I’ve seen this happen in so many companies and it comes down to costs and effort. It is far cheaper and less hassle to purchase new data than to fix the current data, but this not even a solution. It’s just easier and cheaper.
I recently came across a company spending a reasonable amount to subscribe to a very well known data supplier, only to find that half the contacts in their target market had no contact telephone numbers, given this organisation extensively uses telemarketing as a lead generation method, this was an expensive mistake.
Abandoning the list is just throwing money down the drain as some form of relationship has been built with this list.
Fixing the existing list is the correct way forward. That will entail cleansing the data and, if it’s a business list then calling to verify details is the best way to build an accurate picture.
No data supplier is going to have the accuracy of data you need for your marketing to soar.
Calling is time consuming but it’s the best way to create a baseline list of the highest quality.
You can then maintain the list in a systematic way to track changes. Measure it and it will always be of good quality.
Once you have the data, you need to put a lot of effort of keep in going, the rewards can be excellent.
Always sending the message to the right person, tracking changes to the correct contact, finding new contacts, creating an on-going profile of the contact, and so on, is hugely beneficial.
Buying data from different suppliers can be fraught with danger. Just because a supplier is a big player in the world of data does not mean their data is good. Often we buy data with the premise that it is completely up to date.
This is very unlikely, as general data suppliers will update the data either quarterly, six monthly, annually, etc.
We have all bought data that’s just simply out of date. Be very careful who you buy data from, but be more diligent in managing the data from thereon.
These suppliers typically want payment before you see the data in its entirety (I guess that’s sensible as someone can easily make a copy, and not pay), but you are left with data that is on the whole unproven.
If it works then great, if not then it’s expensive.
Once bought, take responsibility for the accuracy, the data supplier has just given you a starting point only.