These days, Data is the talk of the B2B marketing town. And investing in data that is good is the major priority of most of the B2B marketers.
However, the job is really a tough one.
To gather customer data that is actionable, analytical, and measurable; many companies often rely on data solutions providers. These data providers can suffice the purpose only if they understand and meet the specific needs of their sales and marketing operations.
Thus, choosing a right data-solutions provider becomes an important decision for the success of your business.
If you are planning to choose a B2B data provider, below is what you need to consider:
1. Accuracy of the Data
Before you opt for a business data vendor, get yourself clear through the answers to these questions:
• How accurate is the data?
Make sure that the data provider is confident and straightforward about it. Remember that B2B customer database degrades at the rate of 15-20% a month. Thus it can never be 100% accurate. Always choose a data vendor that is honest about the accuracy rate of their database.
• How does the data provider collect the data?
It includes the sources and ways through which the data providing organization collects, segments, and updates the database.
• When was the data last updated?
B2B marketing database gets outdated at a rapid pace. So, it is important to know and verify that how frequently does the company updates the data. Also, what sources and methods do they use to update the data?
• What are the data maintenance policies of the vendor?
Understanding the maintenance and update policies regarding the customer data gives you an overview of how the data can meet your business needs.
• Is the data compliant with the anti-spam laws?
Legal consent gives your marketing campaigns an extra edge. Make sure that the data provider follows the CAN-SPAM or related laws in their database marketing services.
Answers to these questions will give you practical reasons to trust your data provider.
2. Customization Options
The requirements, challenges, and goals of every business and organizations are unique. And that is why there is a need for flexible marketing database – the database that suits the different perspectives and objectives of your business.
Before picking up any data provider, ensure that it provides you with an option of a customized database. Do thorough research about the kind of customization options it is offering. Make sure you choose a company that understands your business needs and provides solutions that go hand in hand with your sales and marketing goals.
• Does the vendor provide database as per the geographical locations?
• Does it provide database with the SIC and NAICS codes?
• Can you get it customized according to the name or size of companies in a particular industry?
• On availing the data, will you get the details like employees’ designation, company’s revenue, technology tracking, etc.?
3. Deliverability Guarantee
When you invest in customer data, you expect it to work. You hope the gathered data to meet the goals of your B2B marketing campaigns. And when you avail the data services of a data provider, you expect more – a guarantee of deliverability.
So, ask the data provider for the deliverability guarantee of the B2B database:
• What is the deliverability guarantee rate given by the vendor?
• What guarantee can the vendor give if your marketing messages fail to deliver?
• What further action will they take if a message is undelivered?
Many B2B marketers come across data providers that miss the deliverability guarantee option. And even if they don’t, they skip giving the details about what actions to be taken in case of failed deliveries.
Asking these questions and getting clear answers to these is important while selecting a data providing company.
4. Cost Factor
Cost is an important element that needs to be viewed while going for any data providing organization. But many marketers focus only on ROI and miss the relative value while choosing an organization. This can lead to costing chaos for many companies.
Instead of jumping on making a decision, do your research. Understand the estimated pricing range for a company of your size. Know to what level of negotiations can be done for the same.
Again, make sure you find answers to these questions:
• Does the company offer premium pricing?
• What else (regarding services, offer, etc.) is included in the premium?
• Do you think the premium will you help you achieve your other targets?
If you think that the premium can help you in meeting your other business goals, it will be a great call to go for it.
5. Customer Service
You do a lot of research about a company before picking it as your data services provider. You make sure that the company offers accurate database with high deliverability guarantee. And the pricing also goes as per you.
Still, you face a lot of difficulties once you avail the services. This happens because you missed marking the customer service criteria.
Remember that you will have to work closely with your data services provider. If the company doesn’t provide excellent customer service, all the above efforts will go in vain.
Thus, always pick a company that offers error-free customer service and support. One way to do this is by using the company’s Net Promoter Score (NPS).
The Net Promoter Score is an index ranging from -100 to 100. It measures the customers’ satisfaction with a company’s products or services.
Finding the right data solutions provider is not an easy job. Where choosing the efficient data partner can complement your marketing campaigns with huge success; one misstep can cost your business goals terribly. But, the above ways can help you do it with ease. Try these and if we have skipped anything, we would love to hear from you in the comments section below!