Individual contact data, such as title and job function—and the decision-making authority that accompanies the position—are the most likely pieces of information to change. For example, when Company X became a client of Company A, John Smith was the assistant manager of plant operations at site one. Eighteen months later, Smith was promoted to plant operations manager and transferred to site two. With this transition, Smith also enjoys additional purchasing authority for plant equipment and supplies. This often is the type of contact information that companies either miss or simply do not have access to in their own marketing databases. Yet this information is critical for targeting product announcements, direct offers and other marketing communications. When there are hundreds of thousands of contacts in the customer database, the result is approximately 20 percent to 25 percent inaccurate data, according to industry analysts. Industry data also suggests this number jumps to 80 percent when dealing with prospect data.
Get Data From Trustworthy External Sources
The good news is that marketers have options for obtaining quality B-to-B data. In fact, they may not know that the list managers they trust for direct mail or e-mail campaigns also may be able to provide additional business demographics and buying behavior about individuals in their target market, including current customers.
Given that a list accounts for 40 percent of a direct marketing campaign’s success, it is in marketers’ best interests to look for sources that are prequalified, such as controlled-circulation subscriber files; frequently updated, industry-specific member directories; and other self-reported business data. B-to-B direct response campaigns should be driven by data. This means the data provider has to be reliable and knowledgeable about the market the company serves. Marketers should ask their list partner—whether a list manager or a broker—about the ability to append business information at the contact and company levels to the marketing files.