Taxi companies will appear on most business data lists, yet they are probably the most unwanted of all industry classifications.
So why are they such an issue, and what can be done about it? There are four key reasons that taxi companies become an issue when specifying business data for marketing;
1. Vertical Market Selection: Transport Sector
Taxi companies sit within the Transport Sector. And although it would be normal to consider this sector to predominantly contain couriers, shipping and road haulage companies, taxis also reside in this sector. If considered carefully, to what other possible sector could they belong?
A similar example would be to select the “Education Sector”. Within this sector you would expect schools, colleges, universities, training companies and could even understand nurseries. But the industry classification which is perhaps the least expected is driving schools. There are many thousands of them, and they are not the kind of environment where you may wish to market books, pencils and other educational equipment.
2. Company Size Selection
Another typical business data brief would be to select all large companies (say, 50+ employees) within a given catchment area. And here is where the unwanted taxi firms pop up yet again. There may be just two or three people actually employed within the company, with each driver being self-employed or contracted. Either way., for the purpose of reflecting a company’s size, taxi firms will generally tot up the total number of people working for the company; and that includes all the drivers on the books. So it becomes commonplace that taxi operations are classified as having more than 50 employees from the perspective of the business data selection.
3. Office Premises
In marketing to office premises, businesses will usually have an office related product or service. Such as office cleaning, office equipment, stationery or even IT services. Each one of these services will usually target businesses by a minimum employee size (e.g. 10+) to ensure a reasonable sized sales opportunity. Cleaning an office with 10 staff will possibly mean 2 – 4 hours worth of cleaning per week. But a taxi firm is typically one person behind a desk, operating a phone and single p.c.. So the IT company would not be best chuffed with this opportunity either; 10+ employees in an office will typically mean there is a server linking all the p.c.s, where as a taxi operation is unlikely to have this. But how else could a taxi company be classified? They are not factories, medical centres or even retail outlets in the regular sense.
It becomes easy to appreciate why business data selections should apply a “special case scenario” to taxi firms; although some marketing campaigns would welcome them, in many cases they are a blatant and unwanted anomaly. And this is made worse by …
4. Population Count
There are some 17,000 taxi companies within the UK. Taking one postcode area as an example (Birmingham), a general business list selection from this region would include more than 300 taxi firms. That is a lot of unwanted data if these are not your target market. By contract, there are only circa 60 taxidermist companies UK-wide, so if these were unwanted (from a pool of over 3million records) then they would hardly dilute the power of your marketing initiative by including them. And that’s the point; there are so many taxi firms that their undesired inclusion would weaken any marketing database.
So What Can Be Done?
At Responsiva, one of the first questions you are asked is what product or service you supply. And the very reason for this question is so that consideration may be given to potentially undesirable industry classifications and other pitfalls. It is commonplace that a company would tell Responsiva that they have historically purchased a business list which includes them, ridiculing the b2b data supplier for not understanding their target market. It is true that business data suppliers sell on volume, so by including undesirable taxi firms within the marketing list usually means their sale value is higher. But it would be wrong to suggest any malpractice that they have attempted to pepper the file with useless prospects simply to up the sale value. It is far more probable that the client was serviced by an inexperienced account manager who simply didn’t understand the business universe well enough to know that taxi firms are one of the main anomalies when it comes to selecting business data.