Follow the Leads: Finding the Right Data Provider

Dec 12, 2006 12:39 AM  By

It is clear that an on-demand data prospect database can boost the success rates of lead generation campaigns and help marketers find their target customers. But selecting the right on-demand lead generation solution can be difficult. Besides assessing your specific needs, there are three areas to take into account to ensure you get the most value from this lead generation tool: accuracy, depth and breadth of the information, and database features and functionality. This article will provide information on each area and tips on how to find the right data provider.

Accuracy
Not all on-demand lead generation databases are created equal. Some providers rely solely on user-generated data or information available on the Web, which is often incorrect, out-of-date, or incomplete. As a result, it’s important to ask questions about how the data is generated, and the impact it has on the data’s accuracy. Make sure your data provider has the technology to track changes and continually update its database in real-time to maintain accuracy. The more sources of information your data provider use, the more accurate and complete the contact records are. In the end, this will save you from wasting time and money on incomplete or old leads.

Depth and breadth
The number of companies and individuals in the database is important. The right database should offer the depth necessary to enable marketers to define highly specific target parameters and still be able to generate a significant list. The breadth of information is also essential. Traditionally, list providers have only been able to provide information at the C-level, but today’s most effective marketing campaigns often call for targeting multiple levels within a company. Teams of people are involved in today’s decision process. Savvy marketers understand that the need to include multiple levels of people within an organization to ensure proper awareness and support for their products/services. An on-demand data provider should be able to supply information necessary to identify the right decision maker and easily access the buyer for faster, more productive marketing across multiple levels of any organization.

Features and functionality
It is important to test functionality to see whether or not the information in the database can be searched and compiled easily and efficiently for your lead generation needs. Some on-demand databases offer a feature that can be set up to immediately alert users when a company or individual has a significant change that may impact a particular list they create can be easily exported to Microsoft Excel or a CRM application so history, number of campaigns and responses can be easily tracked. Alternately, if you want to take advantage of these features, but want to outsource the task of building lists, look for an on-demand lead generation solution that can create custom lists for you and track changes to your prospects.

On-demand lead generation is changing the face of direct marketing. By asking the right questions of your data provider, you can find a source for actionable leads that is far superior to the traditional list.

Frank Vaculin is CEO of San Mateo, CA-based software provider Spoke Software.