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Tim Stevens
Monday, July 13, 2020

The Ultimate Checklist for Buying a Database

Before you start any marketing activity, you need to define your audience. Then, you need to be able to reach the right contacts. Buying a database is a quick way to access your target audience without merely hoping that they will come to you.

But, there’s things you need to know before you invest. Here, we will take you through our recommended checklist which will make sure you buy compliant, legal, and effective data for your needs.

Inside The Mind Of The B2B Tech Buyer

1 - Relevance

Does the data cover your target audience? It may sound obvious, but have you considered your target audience in enough detail to make sure your messaging has a big impact? The deeper you go to niche down your target audience, the more your message will resonate and the more likely your campaigns are to succeed.

In B2B, consider all the relevant firmographics before you choose your new data provider/database. Things like number of staff, turnover, location, industry, structure, background, job roles, how established the business is, and whether they have a specific problem/need etc. should be taken into account.

You will get better results if you have many smaller campaigns with specific messaging to different audience segments than you will if you send a generic message to a broad audience.

Which brings us to...

2 - Segmentation Identifiers

Does the data come with the correct fields to enable you to segment it correctly? Does it have job roles and are the job roles granular enough? If you can’t segment the data sufficiently, you can’t target the right people with the right message, which as we’ve already identified, will have a large impact on the success of your campaigns.

If you’ve already done the work to identify your target audience using a wide range of different firmographics, you will be able to split it down further to identify how you need to segment it.

For example, if your offering will be of interest to both finance directors and operations directors, you will want to segment your audience and have a different approach for both groups. Your messaging needs to address the pain points of each type of individual within the business, and you need to set up multiple campaigns to do that effectively, once you’ve segmented your data.

3 - Compliance

Is the data compliant and ready to use? Or, do you need to make it compliant first?

This is an important question and one you should not overlook.

If you buy and then use non-compliant data, you’re at high risk of breaching regulations such as GDPR, which can have serious consequences.

Even if you don’t use the data before realising it’s non-compliant, you will still have the headache of making it compliant yourself.

Make sure you understand the status of any database you are considering buying before you commit. Of course, ideally, you will always want to make sure that any data you buy is already compliant, so that you can get your campaigns out quickly and without any regulatory concern.

4 - Quality

Two key things will impact the success of your campaigns. The quality of your data, and the quality of your messaging. The latter will come down to you and your marketing team/provider, but the first is down to your data provider. The onus is on you though to make sure that you select a data provider that can show you the quality of their data in advance.

You don’t need to buy blind. Get samples. Not random samples, you need specific samples.

Ask for information on a specific target account you know well, so you get an unbiased sample. You also need to make sure your data provider is verifying the details are current and correct – not simply screening email addresses through an email checker.

They should verify directly with the company that the individual still works there, is still in the same role, and at the same location. They should also stay on top of any name changes too, should a contact get married and change their surname for example.

Q5 - Do you have the means to update your new data as needed?

As the user, you will need to have the processes and capability in house to keep your new database up to date to make sure all the above points remain checked off. You need to consistently make sure your database remains compliant, retains its quality, and continues to drive successful campaigns.

If you want any information on how to do that, ask us.

Are you looking for a new data partner?

At i-4business we pride ourselves on making sure your data fulfils all the important criteria laid out here. To ask us any questions about how we can help, contact us here. To try us out before committing to purchase, you can sign up for a free trial now.