As part of our Collectif, in which we feature the work of our partners (see more here). Here Eliot Silva, Marketing Executive and Barnaby West, Commercial Director, the Data Business argues that bespoke data is the best way for media companies to grow their audiences.

Nearly all media organisations rely on some form of subscriber audience for marketing newsletters or paid publications, and this audience needs to grow steadily and continuously. 

According to industry experts, the conversion rate for persuading your target prospective audience (MQLs) to subscribe to free content is around 13%, for a paid publication it is just under half of that figure at 6%. 

A key factor in boosting those rates is the effectiveness of the marketing. A major issue though is often the quality of the prospect data. This is often pivotal for many media publications where converting prospects into subscribers is the number one goal.  

No matter how incredible, original, and memorable a marketing campaign is, if it is built on inaccurate data that doesn’t reflect its audience, then the targeting will be all over the place. It’s like having an amazing sports car but trying to run it on the wrong type of fuel.

When marketing to prospects to increase subscriptions, the quality of the data you hold is paramount. That’s where bespoke data builds come in. A highly targeted and validated build that follows specific requirements will prove to benefit media companies in the following ways.         

1 Data is sourced fresh for each research project

Most well-known bulk data providers recycle their data for thousands of clients. The repeated rinsing of this data reduces its effectiveness over time as contacts are exposed to multiple sales and marketing campaigns. This can lead to a less engaged audience receiving messaging that lacks personalisation. 

A bespoke data build is researched fresh for every project. So instead of holding a large contact database, research teams find new contacts which are proven to be more receptive to marketing campaigns and, subsequently, increase subscription numbers.  

2 Research is custom-built

Large providers often hold data and try to match contacts and organisations to a company’s needs. This is extremely difficult to do on a large scale and often leaves the client with data that is not fit for purpose. According to Forrester, some 60% of marketers consider the overall health of their data to be unreliable.

Bespoke data build projects are tailored to each client. Typically, an account team will engage in consultation meetings before providing a tailored data service agreement so both parties know exactly who the unique target audience is. This means that clients have much more control over the researched data and so the build is specified to the requirements of the marketing campaign.

3 Data is proven to last longer

Bulk data providers may have access to a database that numbers in the millions, but such volumes are impossible to keep validated. Contact data depreciates at an average of 30% per year, meaning that there is no way to determine that what you are paying for is valid until you use it. By then it could be too late and it could begin to damage your email sending reputation.

A bespoke data build only provides freshly validated data in the final phase of a data build before it is delivered. A combination of software and human testing guarantees an email delivery rate of executive emails of at least 96% from delivery.

4 Data is built with a personal touch

Often with large providers, the personal aspect of your data delivery is missing. Companies are delivered the data provided and it is often difficult to consult with a reliable human team during the process. This can be especially frustrating when time is of the essence and a sales campaign needs to be launched imminently. It also results in your team having to spend significant time searching through lists to find the rare golden leads. 

With bespoke data builds, a personal approach is key throughout, from early consultation meetings to regular check-ins over the process of the build. This gives organisations complete control over any necessary changes if they arise and can be done so in a timely manner. The client care is also much higher, giving the opportunity for flexibility throughout the process and feedback on completion and delivery of the build. 

5 Follow-up services keep data fresh

Once a large provider delivers your data, it is left to depreciate in your database or CRM. There is often little or no aftercare service given for new investment in marketing data and so subscriber and prospect details can rapidly depreciate.     

That’s where CRM cleansing and appending services come in. This involves data research teams identifying invalid contacts and replenishing these with like-for-like replacements, enhancing the value of the database and maintaining its accuracy. Media companies in particular must consider the impact of high bounce rates to their sending reputation as they rely so heavily on regular email marketing to their readership base. 

A bespoke data-driven approach enables media organisations to focus on their data with the goal of better serving their clients and prospects. By using bespoke data to drive its actions, an organisation can personalise its messaging for a more client-centric approach. 

The Data Business is a bespoke data services firm that provides data build, data cleanse, and data enrichment services tailored to clients’ specific requirements.