As part of our Collectif, in which we feature the work of our partners (see more here), the team from The Data Business explains how media companies can make data central to their business.

Few b2b media organisations fully appreciate that data is one of the most reliable investments they can make. If built correctly, a b2b database will on average return £8.00 for every £1.00 spent according to RockContent. Therefore it’s crucial that marketers and sales professionals know what to look out for when searching for new data sources. 

This month’s blog explores the three most common sources of b2b data. To help you make the right investment for your specific organisation. All are GDPR compliant and have different uses for specific merits and shortfalls. 

There are some key points to consider before thinking about purchasing data; does your organisation already have a strategy in place for outreach? Are you looking to onboard these contacts with a campaign or put them straight into your sales pipeline? Have you installed the necessary infrastructure to properly utilise your new leads? An email-sending platform and a CRM (preferably integrated) are essential. Finally, do you have an outline of your ideal prospect/client? Without this understanding of your target audience, any data you do purchase is likely to fall flat as it will hold a proportion of irrelevant contacts and organisations. 

With that in mind, here is a rundown of the three main data sourcing options available to most b2b media organisations. 

Bulk data lists 

Bulk data lists are typically the first stop for data-hungry organisations looking to extract large volumes of more generic data. Using this method; they will be quick to discover that it does come with its advantages and disadvantages. One of the advantages of using this method is that providers promise access to millions of contacts for a fixed annual subscription fee. These contacts are easily accessible, and for a premium service, some buying intent data can also be accessed. A bulk data list is most effective when wanting to gather a large volume of more general contacts and organisations. 

However, media executives must take into consideration that hardly any of this data is human-verified, leading to inconsistencies and inaccuracies in both the information provided and the validity of email addresses. Many are predicted and merely scraped from open sources via tools that do not yet have the intelligence of humans. Some users report that when this data is used in marketing campaigns, it can result in invalidity rates of up to 50%. Some contact information is also likely to be outdated. 

There are further factors to consider, as the data presented takes an in-house human effort to sift through the poor data to find the relevant gems. 

In-house research

Using an in-house team for data research may be more fruitful as it will ensure that your team will be looking for their correct target audience. The in-house team knows all the ins and outs of the right prospect and where to find them. They also have more in-depth knowledge about the product or service provided. By its very nature, this data is human-verified. It is also easier to communicate with the in-house team rather than a third party. 

Nonetheless, using this method will result in you spending significant time and budget to pay for your research teams in addition to training, facilitating and managing them. In-house teams usually consist of more junior employees who do not achieve the same productivity as experienced data professionals. It can also be a demotivating and tiresome task which can result in higher employee turnover. 

Bespoke data services

The third approach is using a bespoke data provider. Using this type of service provides the security and stability that every company needs for their data. This makes it easier for organisations to focus on more important tasks and not worry about carrying out expensive and time-consuming research themselves. By working to a set brief, the bespoke data research provider carries out the task to an agreed budget and schedule. This leaves more time for your team to focus on sales-driven activities. 

It can be found that buying data from these kinds of providers is higher per record, however, it will give the peace of mind of only sourcing the high-quality target audience your business needs and that you can minimise the resources spent checking and proving this data. It can take time for a quality data build to be constructed, especially if the volumes are significant. Therefore, it is suggested to consult a data researcher a good amount of time ahead of your next campaign, so that it can be completed to schedule.  

Sourcing quality data every time

The bottom line with data, like many things, is that you get what you pay for, especially when you put your money into unreliable ways of sourcing data. Moreover, sourcing data in a way that isn’t right for your organisation can result in cost opportunities, which inevitably wastes valuable resources. Choosing a reliable and accurate source to obtain your data helps your organisation save time and money over the long term while bringing in a reliable, high-quality stream of prospects. 

For more information contact The Data Business here.