Marketers today are furiously collecting as much data as they can. After all, data promises us new customers, higher ROI, cross-channel success, and ultimately, more revenue. But more often than not, the question marketers forget to ask is, “Am I collecting the RIGHT data?” If it doesn’t provide any actionable insights into your marketing goals and initiatives, data is, well just data. It clogs up your marketing systems, causes more havoc, more time, and more resources.

So as marketers are collecting all this data, markets must evaluate each source of information to be sure the data they are adding to their marketing database is actually going to add value. However, within all these mountains of data, you may still be missing ENOUGH data.

Sure, you have collected a consumer’s name, address, purchase history, and maybe some key demographics such as age and income. You have a basic understanding of who your customers are, but when you append data from a third-party, this somewhat “basic understanding” evolves into a full picture of who your customers really are, what will drive them to purchase, and what will keep them loyal.

So if you are ready to turn your database into a robust marketing machine, here are the types of data you should be appending to your customer records:

Consumer Demographics

Data providers aggregate these data sets in different ways and some are better than others. Be sure to look for a provider that uses multiple sources of data including public records, phone directories, U.S. Census data, consumer surveys and other proprietary sources.

peopleExample of the types of consumer data selects that can be appended to your database include:

  • Date of Birth
  • Home Ownership
  • Mail Order Buyer Purchase Date
  • Occupation
  • Gender
  • Donors
  • Estimated Income
  • Age
  • Telephone Number
  • Ethnicity
  • Credit Card
  • Hobbies
  • Language Spoken
  • Purchase Behavior
  • Lifestyle Interests
  • Presence of Children
  • Investments

Business Firmographics

For B2B marketers, any number of data selects can be appended to enhance your lead generation efforts. Samples of data selects may include SIC Code, Number of Employees Headquarters/Branch, Annual Sales Volume, Ethnicity Code, Woman-Owned Business, and Fortune Rank.

company firmographics

On average, every 30 minutes 120 business addresses change, 75 phone numbers change, 20 CEOs leave their jobs, and 30 new businesses are formed. (Source: D&B The Sales and Marketing Institute)

Because data is constantly changing and appending data ensures that your database has the most up-to-date information available.

Email Append & Validation

email marketingMany third-party vendors offer email addresses as part of their business or consumer databases. Unfortunately, many of these email addresses are collected without going through any type of validation process. Because of legal restrictions and CAN-SPAM laws, look for a vendor that utilizes a rigorous validation process. This data should only be compiled from third-party opt-in data and should include a process to identify addresses known to be associated with spam traps, invalid emails and domains, role accounts, complainers, know hard bounces, and more.

Additionally, if you’ve collected customer email addresses without additional important contact information, a vendor can help by providing reverse email append services.

Phone & Reverse Phone Append

phone appendTelemarketing is a highly effective way for any number of marketing programs. Beyond just cold calling, telemarketing can be used to turn opportunities into business through appointment setting, seminar booking, follow-ups, market research, customer reactivation, collections, lead generation, and more. Of course, if you don’t have an accurate database on file, you may be leaving opportunities on the table.

Although phone enhancement services vary across vendors, services may include:

  • Phone Appending – These may be compiled consumer and business telephone numbers or telco-sourced directory assistance, residential and business telephone numbers, including newly connected numbers.
  • Phone Verification – Verification of your existing residential and business telephone numbers.
  • Reverse Phone Match– Reverse phone append services provide name and address data for telephone numbers.

By now, you have probably heard one the statistic or another about the massive amount of data that is available today. And if you haven’t – just run a quick search on the internet. After all there’s a world of data out there! In fact, a full 90% of the data in the world has been generated in the last two years alone.  But even with all this data being created by the second – available for the taking, you may still not have the right data. And the RIGHT data makes all the difference.

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