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Should you buy B2B data lists to improve your marketing campaigns?

14th Mar 2016
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Data is integral to the success of your B2B marketing campaigns. Whether you are a start-up or a large multinational corporation, detailed information about your target audience is the key to generating leads and driving sales. The right data can be used to invigorate your marketing efforts, ensuring that you reach more of the right people.

If you don’t have this information readily available, one solution is to purchase B2B data lists from a data provider. There are many benefits to be attained from this approach: you can connect with a wider audience; hone in and focus on your customers’ specific needs; conduct multi-channel campaigns; and work closely with your provider to ensure that you are covering all the bases.

However, you may be questioning whether this is genuinely the right path to take. Certainly, the data industry is no stranger to criticism and data providers often get a bad rap. But it’s a small minority that let down the side and there are excellent providers – and data - out there.

So if you’re asking whether you should buy B2B data lists, then the answer is yes. But this is not an endeavour to be undertaken flippantly. It’s really important to take the time to do your research and ensure that you find the partner who best suits your needs and truly cares about the direction of your business.

Why B2B data is so important

Marketing has changed dramatically in recent years. The Internet has changed buyer behaviour – now, people usually carry out thorough research before committing to a purchase. On average, B2B buyers are typically 60 per cent of the way through the buyer’s journey before they even think about talking to a sales person. Additionally, individuals don’t want (or expect) to be contacted out of the blue by organisations who can’t solve their problems or alleviate their pain.

Therefore, while traditional tactics, such as paid advertising, still work for many industries there is more and more emphasis on specifically targeting the people who are already looking for your company’s product or service. In this new landscape, driving business is dependent on connecting with the right people at the right time.

So you need data.

Good data vs. bad data

Not all data is the same – and, accordingly, not all data providers are the same. Some data providers do act unlawfully and unethically. As such, whether you need postal addresses, phone numbers, email addresses - or a combination of the three - it's vital to purchase high-quality information from a verified and trustworthy provider. Why not read our previous post – 5 things to look for in a B2B data provider – to help you make the right decision.

Generally, problems tend to occur when you choose an irresponsible data provider who hasn’t taken the rights steps to collect or verify their data – for example, perhaps they’ve amassed their data using "shady" methods or have acquired inaccurate or outdated records.

Buying a list from such a supplier is no laughing matter. Sending out marketing messages using "bad data" means you could:

- Ruin your reputation 
- Break the law
- Decrease response rates
- Annoy your potential customers
- Waste your time and resources

Clearly, none of these are desirable outcomes and they certainly don’t help you to achieve either your marketing or wider business goals.

By contrast, "good data" can transform your company. The best records will be up-to-date and detailed; there will be no duplicate entries and inaccurate records will be minimal; the data will have been obtained ethically and legally. This kind of data will help you to fulfil your campaign objectives and both your organisation’s and customers’ needs. It will help you to generate new leads and win you new customers. And it will differentiate you from your competitors.

You may still be unsure about the concept of buying B2B data lists. And you're certainly not alone. Many businesses' marketing departments are strapped for cash and resources and buying data can seem like an unnecessary expense.

However, as we have explored, the right data can really make the difference between marketing success and failure. Yes, investing in poor quality or bad data is a big mistake, but taking the time to seek out a provider who will deliver you highly valuable records will power your marketing and help you to reach your business goals.

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