Tim Stevens
Tuesday, October 19, 2021

i-4business vs Cognism - Comparison

We’ve recently compared ourselves against Lusha and ZoomInfo, now we look at Cognism as we continue this series to make sure you know as much as possible about each data provider you might be considering.

Acquiring Data

Cognism collect their data from 125 data sources. These include LinkedIn, open sources – such as websites, press articles, and other online media. They also acquire data from closed sources such as Crunchbase and other third party vendors.

At i-4business we have a full in-house research team of native speakers who gather our data. We don’t use third parties, forbidden tactics or rely on technology. We own all our own data and our research team collect it in the proper way. This ensures accuracy and quality.

segmentation targeting data


As Cognism purchases some of their data from third parties they have no control over how compliant that data is as they had no involvement in gathering it in the first place.

Aside from that, Cognism processes data on the grounds of “legitimate interest,” not consent.

When a contact opts out of the database there’s no alert from Cognism to tell you that you need to stop communicating with them. This can lead to non-compliant and ineffective marketing campaigns.

Cognism does have a global opt-out API which you can access but as it doesn’t provide automated notifications to inform you of any changes you effectively have to cleanse the data yourself.

In their GDPR documents, it states that it is up to the client to guarantee compliance before using the data for direct marketing. You can’t just purchase the data and expect to run compliant campaigns without doing a lot of groundwork yourself to ensure compliance.

Cognism does cleanse their data against the TPS/CTPS service. They claim this makes them compliant with data protection legislation but in reality, it’s a very basic step that we’ve been taking at i-4business for decades. Our data is the most GDPR compliant in the industry. With compliance comes peace of mind and effective marketing campaigns.

You need compliant data that’s relevant to you and it needs to be accurate for your marketing campaigns to have an impact. That’s why we collect our data the way we do and why we are so focused on ensuring compliance for you.

Contracts & cost structure

When you sign up with Cognism they will require you to sign up for a 12 or 24-month contract. Pricing then works on a credit-based system. You purchase credits and redeem them against the contacts that you want. If a contact opts out you don't get your credit back.

You can download the data in one-off lists but Cognism won’t notify you of any changes.

Your credits refresh every month. So if you’re contracted to pay for 1,000 credits you get this amount every month. The credits from previous months also roll over which effectively gives you perpetual use of the data.

Continual use of the data in this way may seem like a positive, but it can be incredibly dangerous! You will encounter the following issues, as the rules apply to everyone:

·        High bounce rates

·        Non-compliance – marketing to contacts that have opted out

·        Irrelevance – contacts become outdated over time

·        Frustrated contacts – Cognism’s ex-clients will still be overloading the database with email communications. Contacts will become accustomed to ignoring marketing communications

·        Big loss of reputation as a result

At i-4business we operate a very simple subscription service. One fixed monthly fee for access to the database for as long as you need it.

Fully compliant, highly effective data backed up by our expert support team on hand to answer any questions you have and to offer help whenever you need it.

Try i-4business for free

Try our service without commitment by taking advantage of our offer of a FREE ACCOUNT for 30 days!

Our enterprise B2B contact database for technology vendors has contact records of over 100 job roles and consists of:

·        300 verticals

·        Enterprise and public sector organisations

·        Data guarantees for accuracy, completeness, and recency

Find out more by calling our expert team on 01252 367400.

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