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B2B lists still perceived to be the poor relation

There still seems to be a certain degree of negativity towards business-to-business lists within the industry, writes Marcus Oxlade, business development manager at TRG Strata.

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Some industry professionals appear to be under the impression that the majority of B2B data is poor quality and that existing cleaning and verification practices are questionable. 

I agree there has been an historic problem with data accuracy within the B2B market, but data owners and suppliers are working very hard to improve this.

Similarly, there are plenty of reputable list owners and suppliers who ensure they not only use the best sources of data but who also undertake thorough cleaning to ensure records are up-to-date and correct.

Yes, B2B list buyers should ask questions about data sources but any list supplier worth its salt should make sources clear from the outset.

Similarly, it is not just where the list is sourced that is important, but how the data is cleaned before it is sold on. We all know that B2B data decays faster than consumer data, at 30% a year compared with 7% with B2C. 

It is therefore essential to screen business data against products such as the Business Suppression File, which ensures not only greater accuracy but higher response rates and greater return on investment.
One area that should also receive more consideration is the integration of bought B2B data with existing data. I'd like to make the point that the majority of companies looking to target business customers will have their own existing database which they don't often make full use of. 

We at TRG Strata advise clients to make the most of what they already have. We encourage clients to clean, enhance and append new information to old and use the suppression flags to move what once were old customers to the top of the contact hierarchy.

When a company has found their old customers at their new addresses and exhausted these already warm leads, that is the time to buy in prospect data. There is nothing to stop a client taking their prospect pool and keeping that fresh with the use of suppression products. It is a service well used by our clients and entirely necessary with current B2B data decay rates.
Coupled with industry mistrust of data, there is also the view that B2B lists are not worth as much as consumer lists. Recently I have seen numerous articles in the trade press advising B2B list buyers to strive to drive down the price when in cost negotiations.

I'd like to take this opportunity to advise buyers to the contrary; as with all purchases, you get what you pay for, so the cheapest option will not always be the best deal in terms of quality.

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