Our guide to purchasing business data

When it comes to any source of data there are a number of criteria up for grabs which includes anything from company names and addresses in various different industries to far more detailed information such as the size of the business and how long it has been trading.


Choosing the right criteria for your marketing campaign

One method of ensuring you know the right criteria for you is to ask your customers to take part in a survey either online or via telephone. Another option is to ask a data supplier to create a profile on your existing customer database. When this is done, your database is matched against the business universe in order to figure out the kinds of companies featuring on there. Once this has been done, you will be able pick out which businesses are you best customers.

After your perfect prospects have been highlighted you can chose which method of contact would be the most beneficial to make, for example telephone or email.


Adding to your database

It is important to think about the data you have already collected. Is it clean?

it is best practice to perform some maintenance on your existing database to ensure it is as clean as possible before adding to it as this will guarantee reliability.


The quality of your data


There are a few vital questions you should ask with regards to purchasing business data:


1. What method has been used to collect this data?

The majority of business data comes from Companies House or directories.


2. How has the data been verified?
The most accurate way business data can be verified is via telephone.


3. How large is the business database?
Knowing the answer to this will ensure that you are getting a correct representation of the total number of records available to you.


4. How often has the data been updated?
Business data should always been updated on either a monthly or yearly basis.

You will also need to take the time to find out what quality guarantees are in place for records which contain errors or ‘gone aways’. With any business database there will be a percentage of errors which means that you need to know the tolerances.


There are a few different standard licenses which are single use (mailing), single campaign (mailing, email and telephone follow up) and one year unlimited usage.


Your supplier


Data consultancy – A sound data supplier will have the knowledge to advise you on which kind of data you need for your campaign for no cost.
Run a count – They will be able to let you know just how many records are available for the list you are expressing an interest in and the majority of counts can be provided on the same day they are requested.
Delivery – Your data should typically by delivered within 24 hours to 48 hours of signing and returning your purchase order unless you have complex requirements.

One final thing to bear in mind before purchasing your data is to consider the legislation surrounding direct marketing, specifically the Data Protection Act.

One final note before buying your database is to be aware of the legislation surround direct marketing in particular, the Data Protection Act.


Capturing Data and how is it done?
Data capture is a process whereby paper documents containing business information, such as business cards and customer surveys, are converted into usable and meaningful data. Athough, this does not only have to be paper documents, it can also be data from websites or scanned documents.


Why is data caption important?
Information regarding your customers is a vital asset to any business. This can include the customer’s name, address, items bought and amount spent. But if this information is not in a user friendly format then it will simply be a nuisance for future analysis and marketing campaigns. For example, you cannot analyse your customer buying patterns from a paper list. Information which is easily accessible will enable you to carry out more analysis and plan out future activities.


Why do businesses outsource data capture work?
It is often the case that people do not have the free time to enter information manually, which means it gets left and neglected, or they are unable to` afford the money to employ staff members, especially when it is a one-off occasion or seasonal job.


Just how can data be captured?
There are numerous forms of data which can be captured which includes application forms, website information, surveys, research forms and questionnaires, mailing lisrs, library records and satisfaction cards.


What data can be captured?
There is an assortment of information which can be captured ranging from names and addresses to complicated statistics.

By Lee Callender
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 13:43
Catagory: Data
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