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Archive for March, 2017

b2b data Company Start Date

Limited Companies

For Limited companies the Incorporation Date is derived from Companies House.

Note: this is the date that the company was incorporated at Companies House. It may not have been trading since this date because Directors can register a business at Companies House and then not start actively trading until a later date.

Likewise a company may have been trading for a number of years, and decide to change their company name. In this case they will get a new incorporation date reflective of the company name change.

 

Non-Limited Companies

For non-Limited companies, the Year Started on the b2b data universe is captured via the data source’s call centres.

When making contact with the business, it’s the business that confirms the date they were established. So this date has nothing to do with Companies House, and is reliant on what was said during the call.

If the call centre is unable to make contact with the business, the “established date” becomes the date the business first appeared on the file. This means they are usually a new business, having not appeared on file previously.

 

New Branches

New branches of national chains (Tesco, Barclays, Starbucks etc) are regarded as new ‘companies’ also. i.e., they are new premises. These can usually be excluded by having a high branch count however.

 

Start-up Companies

It should be noted that start-up companies (i.e., having been established / incorporated within the last few months) are generally very small businesses. The vast majority are sole traders seeking to expand. Many operate from home. So the concept that there are lots of start-up businesses with huge cash injections is unrealistic.

 

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Specify Business Marketing Data

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Specify the right business marketing data for your next initiative.

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An Intro to Responsiva’s B2B Data Services

b2b data services from Responsiva…

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Business Data Branch Count

Branch Count

 

Featured Data Variable: “Branch Count”

The “Branch Count” variable doesn’t appear on standard business data supplies, because more questions would be raised than answered. Yet it’s a very powerful selection filter. The branch count field has a numerical value, relating to the number of sites per company.

 

Examples

Some examples of high branch count businesses by their respective industry sector;

Branch Counts

With perhaps the exception of the post offices (which tend to be semi-independent), these 15,000 business records represent just seven companies. And it doesn’t take a genius to work out which specific companies they are.

Taking the dispensing chemist by way of example. Having 2,672 branches means they are on every high street. Would you want to market your business to each of these at a branch level? There is virtually no branch-level autonomy, so the answer is almost certainly no.

 

Branch Count – Beware!

One of the shameful elements of the data industry is that (in being financially rewarded for supplying the largest possible data volume to clients), unfortunately there is an ‘incentive’ for these records to be included within your file. Personally I would regard this as short-termism, as the data quality will be massively diluted and usually lead to client dissatisfaction.

It genuinely saddens me to audit client databases sourced from another supplier where the file is heavily peppered with certain American (fast food) restaurants or ‘big four’ supermarkets. And I have no qualms in stating that their database (if diluted to an unacceptable level) is unfit for purpose. Good data suppliers should apply a duty of care in filtering out unsuitable prospects.

Whilst filtering can never be perfect, there are some basics which should be applied as standard. Unless requested otherwise, high branch count records are automatically recommended for exclusion by Responsiva.

 

How Is the Information Evaluated?

The branch count field is not a perfect value. It is evaluated by applying some intelligence to company name matching. And there are some anomalies. As a general rule, the likes of matching “M&S” with “Marks & Spencer” will be fine. And there is also some intelligence in segmenting company names such as “Red Lion” or “Taj Mahal”; which to the human eye will all be independent entities.

But where the branch count gets it seriously wrong is with hotels. By way of a fabricated example, matching “London Hilton Park Lane Metropol” with “Hilton Picadilly Manchester” is not realistic. So the branch count for hotels tends to be blank, and this is one sector where chains can slip through the net.

 

Head Offices?

Often I am asked if the head offices of businesses are identifiable. The reality is that they aren’t; many companies use their accounting and auditing firms (or a PO Box address) by way of their Companies House registration, so matching to this file is not the right way forward. Quite simply it is not worth the risk of including every branch within your database, so the high branch count records are usually best excluded as standard.

Whilst head offices are impossible to accurately identify, they can be implied. This can work well with companies having 10 – 20 branches. The best way of achieving this is in selecting data where there is also a director level contact name at site. Most multi-premise businesses would only have managerial contact name (e.g. Branch manager) at each site.

So the records with a director level name will generally have at the very least some autonomous decision-making capability.

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Business Data For Postal Mailings

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For the last decade and more, social media has been the marketing buzzword. But does it really work? The free elements of Twitter & Linked-in certainly have merit, but both require a dedicated daily investment of time. Whilst paid-for advertising via many different social media channels has yet to yield well for Responsiva. With the internet being so huge there are now too many platforms to strive to be noticed on, which has diluted its marketing effectiveness.

From Responsiva’s experiences, postal mailings (of 5,000 units) have consistently proven the most productive with their return since 2003. Telemarketing a close second.

 

The Investment      (For 5,000 Posted Letters)

An investment of £1,750 with the mailing house buys the paper, printing, packing, mail-merge, envelopes, printed return address and the postage costs. All that the mailing house requires is the letter text and the business data to send it to. This equates to a cost of 35p per letter.

Postage rates decrease for larger mailing volumes, whilst the consumer posting a handful of letters can expect to pay 55p each just for the stamps. With a volume of 5,000 units the postage element of the mailing equates to just 23.7p per unit.

In addition to the investment of £1,750 there is the cost of the data element. However, data is supplied for multiple usage so can be re-used up to (realistically) twelve times. So it would be reasonable to say that the “all inclusive” costs of a 5,000 letter mailing would be around £1,850.

 

Return On Investment

The ROI will vary according to the message, target market and products & services being offered. But what can be reasonably anticipated is the volume of responders. For the last fourteen years in running postal mailing campaigns of this magnitude, the responses have always been between 0.8% and 1.2%. i.e., 40 – 60 responses.

This equates to an average £37 per inbound enquiry.

 

By Comparison

Good quality (telephone verified, permission based) cold email marketing will rarely yield more than one enquiry per 1,000 units. The cost of those 1,000 units will be more than £37.

Telephone marketing has value added services such as dated call-backs and opt-in email address harvesting. Those emails will be far stronger than the aforementioned cold ones. But the typical cost per day of calling will not usually generate a cost-per-lead as low as £37. If a telemarketer is costing £250 per day, seven leads would be required.

During 2007 – 2008 the cost per enquiry from ‘adwords’ campaigns was as low as £20 – £25. This escalated over the following years to exceed £50 per enquiry. Today the figure is closer to £100, though I concede that this cost per enquiry will vary according to the keywords and campaign.

 

So although a postal mailing of 5,000 units requires some investment, they have proven the most effective route to market from Responsiva’s experience.

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