With David Bingle of DDL Group who provide a complete range of direct marketing services.


I was chatting with David the other week about data.  (To marketers data usually means contact data – names, addresses, email addresses etc.).


Data has to be one of the cornerstones of marketing.  It’s the basis of most marketing communications.  For these to be effective and to ensure the maximum return.


Profiling your target business contact is a good first step.  What industry do they belong to? What size are they?  How many employees do they have?  What is their annual turnover? on investment, data needs to be kept in good condition.


All businesses hold data; data on prospects and customers, past and present.  Keeping data clean will ensure you’re not wasting money contacting people who aren’t interested or who have “gone away”.


Often businesses will decide they need more data; especially if a business wants to grow.  There is lots of data available.  How do you make the right choice?


As with many things, it’s all in the planning and the preparation.  You need to think carefully about your needs before you contact a data provider.


If you have enough data on your own you could profile your existing contacts.  The marketing analysis tool RFM may help.  Recency, Frequency & Monetary Value will help you identify your most valuable customers.  You want more valuable customers.


Once you’ve decided the key market sectors you can use SIC (Standard Industrial Classification of Economic Activities) Codes to help define the sector.  SIC Codes aren’t always accurate but they are a good start.  You’ll need to decide on a geographical area.  Possibly the whole of the UK but some businesses like to work from a local radius first. Finally you’ll need an idea of job titles and job functions.


Once you’ve got all that you can look at data providers.


There are lots of data providers.  The cost of data varies enormously.  So what do you need to be aware of before you take the plunge?


There’s more about what you need to know and consider before you acquire data in The Value of Data II….

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