The data universe can be a huge, complex and scary place in the post-apocalyptic wake of GDPR, what is available out there, where did it come from and is it safe to use? But firstly, do you really know what you are looking for?
Understanding your targetable and available data universe can often become complicated but in order to do so you need to start somewhere.
In our experience and indeed in that of our clients you must firstly attempt to define what your ideal prospect company and Decision Maker Contacts (DMC) looks like.
For some this can seem relatively easy. For instance, a company has a niche product focused very much on one vertical, in one country aimed at a specific DMC.
For most however this isn’t the norm. For instance, a company with multiple products, service offerings and solutions that are available to prospect companies over a wide geographical spread such as EMEA and that have a complex mix of DMC, will need to conduct analysis to determine what the ideal prospect company could look like, for what solution or offering, in which geographies and determine who within those companies should be contacted.
This can seem like a daunting task and many would walk away not even attempting it but taking small steps one at a time and breaking it down into manageable pieces can help immensely with a bit of logic thrown in for good measure!
Step 1: What data do you have already?
To begin it is advisable to see what data you can obtain internally from finance, sales, upper management, specialist teams etc to ascertain what your analysis of your targetable universe will be based on.
This could be raw data or could be from discussions in round tables with personnel to draw on experience or a combination of both. Find out if anything like this has ever been attempted and if so what learnings came from it.
Step 2: Analyse
When done start to analyse the data you have and the findings you have made, look for trends in verticals/industry and in country, size of organisation, find out which geographies are most important for expansion, start to build out the profile of your universe at a company level.
Step 3: Get into a data providers mindset
Try to get into the mindset of a data provider at this stage as this will aid in the production of the brief for the data you are looking for. All providers will have parameters that they can search on within their databases.
Step 4: Prepare the brief at country and company level
With this is mind start to think about and put together the basic company profile/search criteria such as:
- Verticals/industry within country
- Size of organisation, turnover, employee size etc
- Any other information that if available would be great to have
Step 5: Add the DMC to the brief, think about the influencers too
Once done its time to ascertain the DMC within organisations that you are looking for and again with the brief in mind think of job functions of the contacts as nearly all data providers now use a job function as a search criteria rather than a specific job title.
Now is also the time that you should think about not only the ultimate DMC but whether you should look to target the influencers of that contact. As an example, you know that you really want/need to target the CFO as they are the ultimate DMC but is that contact really the person that will feel the pain of a business-critical issue that could be solved with one of your solutions, services or products?
Maybe at a board level and they will be the person who ultimately signs off the solution but are they the actual team members that will be tasked with solving the riddle? If the answer is no, then start to think about the influencers…
So, the profile of countries, companies and DMC is getting there and always remember it can be refined and readdressed at any point. Potentially through the process you have decided to go down an Account Based Marketing route, regardless you have now built the data brief to go to data providers, now what?
Step 6: Take the brief to the data supplier(s)..
Now here comes the minefield…. Is it even available in the universe, if so where and is it safe to use?
The answer is most likely yes to all the questions above, but it will not be available from just one source, it never is. Different data owners, suppliers, list builders all have different specialities and no one of them even if they profess to do so have total global coverage, that would be almost impossible.
Now is the time to think about a blended data approach, find the suppliers with the niches and understand what they are, vet them for GDPR compliancy, determine the coverage of what is required and think about potentially building your universe with use of more than one.
All of the above can be a time-consuming task, a bit of knowledge and guidance can always help. With over 10 years of experience of providing support and solving our clients marketing data challenges virtualROI are available if needed. For more information on how we can help please don’t hesitate to make contact.