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Archive for June, 2013

White Collar Business Data List

The most common approach for companies who seek a business data list of white collar workers is to review the industry classifications. With around five hundred SIC codes, and two thousand lower level business data descriptions, these will show the vertical market that each company operates within. But does this method truly identify the white collar workers from the blue? Can you be sure that accountants and solicitors are the former, and manufacturers the latter? Imagine two scenarios

Company 1: ABC Solicitors

This firm has ten branches; they are a large firm of solicitors. Nine of their offices are located in major cities. The tenth branch however is the only premise that is located within your desired catchment area, so it is this site that would be picked up by the data. Unlike the other nine sites, this branch is a warehouse premise, where all secure documents are stored. Aside from a general manager, all employees are dedicated to the warehousing and storage functionality of the business. Is this the kind of operation you would want to target for white collar related services?

Company 2: LMN Manufacturing

Similar to our firm of solicitors, this manufacturing company has ten premises and just one of these premises resides within the locality of your target region. The other nine sites are factory premises, manufacturing goods in line with the company’s product range. But the tenth site is the head office premise, where the functions of finance, sales, marketing and account management reside. So in this case we have a white collar operation, despite the overall nature of the company being predominantly blue collar.

These examples are quite extreme, but go to illustrate the point that the industry classification of a company is not necessarily indicative of the functionality of the premise being targeted. And so for this reason, there is a second variable which requires consideration; the business premise code. A warehouse or factory premise is ideal for marketing to for services such as industrial waste disposal, blue collar related training services etc. Whereas these premise types should be excluded if marketing into white collar service companies.

Based on the fact that these examples are quite extreme (the first being more so than the second), as a general rule the industry classification based selection is appropriate where there is no premise type within the data. And there are plenty of office-based companies which are far from ideal anyway; such as taxi companies or couriers. But where the premise type does come into play is as a sense-checking tool. i.e., that the business data specification caters for the removal of prospects which operate from an undesirable premise type.

Another premise type which yields a high volume of anomalies are the companies trading from home. Many services are simply not suited to this premise type. A company may be flagged up as “warehousing services” in the business classification and also be identified as having ten employees. But in reality this could be an individual who previously stated that they have ten employees, where those employees are either contracted or work from a different site. And all the company’s warehousing services are in fact contracted out, with this particular business operating on a commission scheme.

So whether applied as an inclusion or exclusion parameter, the premise type is of particular relevance when considering your marketing data and how best to specify it.

 

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Business Data Samples

There are three reasons to get business data samples when sourcing a prospect list;

(1) Data Qualification

(2) Quality Testing

(3) Review the b2b data Fields

 

DATA QUALIFICIATION

The first, Data Qualification, is your opportunity to manually check each sample record to ensure it meets with your business data brief. Some examples include; if you need every record to contain a director-level contact name then check the job title of each contact name contained within the samples. If there are any absent or managerial contact names then the samples have not married up to the brief. Check the geography of each record (town, county & postcodes) to make certain they are all within your desired catchment area. Check the employee size and/or turnover information to be sure every line marries up to the target market company size. And perhaps the most important data field to review is the industry classification (sometimes referred to as SIC code). Quite often our customers say that “any business” is an appropriate target, but in reality they did not consider that some business types are undesirable; government, schools, churches, care homes etc. So by reviewing the industry classification column you should be looking for any b2b data which (upon manually qualifying the samples) aren’t desirable after all.

So what the samples enable you to do is sense-check the business data you would be buying. And it is imperative that you do check each record.

 

QUALITY TESTING

Business data samples are supplied so that you may test a few records. It doesn’t take long to call through 10 to 20 records and ask one or two quick questions. First and foremost, is the phone active or dead? And when the phone is answered, do they give the company name as listed on the sample database you have been supplied? You could even check that the contact name given within the data list still works for the company and is resident at that premise. Auditing the company premise type is a good sense-check also (although part and parcel of the data qualification process above), but if the contact name supplied works at a different site or building, then the premise type is the first field I would check. Is it the head office or a retail outlet for example?

The quality testing process is there to check the accuracy of the data list; not to audit the data fields or how the file looks in terms of the specification. This step is purely to ensure the business data is current and reflective of what you might expect when ordering a larger file.

 

Review The b2b data Fields

The b2b data fields are effectively the columns within the spread-sheet. Many list brokers charge extra for additional fields. So although they may quote a very cheap price for company name, address & telephone number, the prospect list may be absent of contact names or the other profile variables. Profile variables include the business classifications, staff headcount, premise type etc. So this stage of the checking is really all about making sure that the content of each row is as you would like it. And if any fields are absent then ask; is the extra data available, and does it come at an extra cost?

 

Responsiva’s b2b data Samples

Responsiva supplies data samples with every new-customer quote, for the very purpose of these three processes. We want you to check the data quality, that the data meets the brief and that all the desired fields are within the file. With the exception of email addresses, all available b2b data fields are supplied as standard and at a simple rate per 1,000 records. It may not be the cheapest file around, but you get all the fields without having to pay those niggling costs for all the little extras (like when booking a flight!), which end up making the file more expensive anyway. And we definitely want you to check the quality of the data by making a few calls. A huge amount of money would be wasted on your telemarketers’ time if the quality is not up to scratch.

(the comment that Responsiva only supplies samples to new customers is purely because the repeat customers already know the data quality, fields supplied and qualification of the brief is at a high standard. That said, repeat customers can always request samples too).

 

So the data samples are actually a vital part of ordering business data; they are your opportunity to be satisfied that the prospect list is fit for purpose. If you would like some free business data samples then please contact Responsiva on 0800 118 5000, or send an email to info@responsiva.biz

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Using the business data Premise Codes

The premises type within the business data universe has genuine value to some business types. Most especially those targeting a specific kind of building rather than by industry classification. Three good examples follow;

 

1. Industrial Waste Disposal / Collection

By selecting a prospect list by specific industry classifications will yield anomalies. For example, the manufacturing sector appears at a first glance to be a great sector to market to. However, any marketing list which selects the b2b data by the manufacturing sector will contain an estimated 30% undesirable prospects. Not all manufacturing company premises are factories; many are offices, head offices and sites of administration, marketing & finance. And these could well be located literally hundreds of miles from the manufacturing plant. So by contacting the satellite offices to provide an industrial waste collection & disposal service would quite probably be a wasted marketing piece. The data list should be selected by factory premises; ideally with a minimum employee size to give a fair indication of the volume of industrial waste.

 

2. Fork Lift Trucks & Training

Virtually any business sector can have a storage facility requiring warehousing, though admittedly some are more prone than others. When identifying a business list for marketing, selecting the companies trading from an actual warehouse premises would be much stronger than using the regular SIC coding system. As with the first example, employee size will give an indication of usage (i.e., number of fork lift trucks required for sales or service, or number of trainees). The premise type is vital in so much that a head office based in a commercial tower block will have no fork lift truck related requirement. It could be argues that the head offices may make the decisions, though past experience suggests that they are more likely to allocate a budget for the warehouse manager to make the actual decision on which trucks and related training services are required.

There are two anomalies with warehouse premises however. Many large supermarkets, department stores and other retail premises have a warehouse facility at the rear. But by the very nature of their business they are classified as a retail outlet. And you would not wish to select retail outlets in general when identifying a prospect list for fork lift trucks, or you may scoop up all kinds of dross such as fish ‘n’ chip shops etc. For this reason, many of the warehouses are classified as a different premise type. But also, some businesses classified as a warehouse are chain outlets of a larger home improvements store, or commercial courier company. These can be excluded by the branch count however.

 

3. Office Services

Office services can range from photocopiers, partitioning, stationery and all manner of products which target the office premise. It could be argued that these services are also required in factories, warehouses and other premise types too. So the best example to consider would be p.c. related services (sales, services, networking etc). Specifically, where the employee count should have a high correlation to the number of people actually sat at a desk and using a computer. The office premise is ideal for this, but there are some anomalies. Taxi companies for one; 100 employees could quite literally mean one person sat at the reception desk and 99 drivers out on the road.

 

There are pitfalls in making any business data selection for your marketing. But at Responsiva you have the reassurance that with around 25 years experience these will be pro-actively explored thoroughly before the data is actually ordered. The business lists you order will be fit for purpose, accurate and well-defined.

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Direct Marketing In June

Measuring the last ten years at Responsiva (and experience from the fifteen years in employment before that), June is one of the busiest three months of the year for direct marketing. The other two being January & September. The main reason being that any mailing or telemarketing list campaign will reach their intended audience comfortably after the traditional three school holidays have finished, and most households and workplaces are back to full strength. May can be equally as busy, but with two bank holidays (and often ending in a half term week) June seems to be the busier month. Perhaps as it marks the start of Summer. Either way, marketing managers are tasked with maximising the return from each campaign and so the best time to run any mailing or telemarketing data driven initiative is when the fewest recipients are likely to be on holiday.

As a start to Responsiva’s new blog-driven initiatives, for June 2013 only we are giving away free business email addresses with all b2b data lists where requested. So in addition to any mailing activity or telemarketing list campaigns, you will now be able to follow-up with an email data broadcast at no extra cost for the database. When you make your enquiry just give reference to June’s blog and the emails will be added to each record where available.

Some industry types are more prolific with emails than others. The service sector, for example, will be more highly populated than retail. So please don’t expect every record to have an email address; because not every business data record has one. But where there is a b2b email available, it will be added without the extra cost.

Responsiva has a coverage of 3.25 million business data records throughout the UK. These can be selected by some two thousand distinct industry classifications, company size (an employee cut-off is usually the best method, but an estimated turnover value is also available), premise type or even the number of branches to that company. The branch count is usually applied as an exclusion (for example, remove any business data where there are more than ten sites). And the data lists can now be chosen by job titles or functions. Director level contact names will usually be stronger than managerial names, and the b2b data universe is also flagged with the functionality of key roles within each organisation too. So you can select the chief exec role, or by responsibility for marketing, sales, IT, finance and HR. Quite often, for companies with up to 20 employees, all these roles are managed by the business owner, with a Managing Director title. So the job function flag is more akin to the different responsibilities the individual has, rather than any specific title.

Email data is becoming increasingly sought after by Responsiva’s clients, so this really is quite a special offer for June, and has great added value to your sourcing of a regular marketing data list. You may contact Responsiva via the usual channels; by email to info@responsiva .biz or on our freephone number 0800 118 5000.

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