Business Database Differences

BtoB Online summarized a study on Sources of B-to-B Data that reveals an evolution in how business data are collected and offered.

“The background for this study is the lack of confidence business marketers have in publicly available prospecting files,” said Ruth P. Stevens, a customer acquisition and retention consultant, Columbia University business professor, and co-author of the study. “We did find that data from these compilers was more accurate, in terms of names, addresses, company name, ZIP codes, etc.” Stevens said. “But what we found is that there are a lot of business buyers names whose records are not in these databases.

Compiled lists for use by direct marketers are assembled from a variety of sources, including directories, contacts from trade shows, public records, social sites, credit reports and even by “scrubbing” business or other special-interest websites for information about business executives.

To increase the likelihood that marketers get the data they want, the researchers advised them to develop a detailed list ordering methodology. They also urged marketers to understand what vendors mean by “complete” information, a definition which can vary; to be specific about industry selections; to watch for vendor specialization by industry; and to choose between breadth of companies, or breadth of contacts or both.

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