6 questions to ask about your database, today!

david-coghlan-headshotEvery business that deals in B2B marketing needs a database of customer and prospective customer details. If your database is managed regularly and correctly, then life can be a lot simpler for you and your business. Excellent business data can give you the competitive edge that businesses need to get noticed.

Often a company’s database gets forgotten about until your mailshot or email is ready to go. It’s time consuming and it’s not the most exciting job, but the reality is that data is a vital link between you and your existing and potential customers. Neglect it at your peril.

These simple questions will help you identify whether your database is up to scratch or in vital need of TLC.

1 When was your database last assessed?

If data is checked and assessed regularly, you are on the right track. If it’s more a case of data in and then forgotten about, that’s not a good sign. Asking this question first will tell you a lot about the potential state of your database and how much your data may have decayed.

2 Do you focus on quality, not quantity?

It may give you more confidence to see a nice lengthy list of contacts, but the reality is that they are probably not all quality, profitable prospects. Modern B2B marketing is more than a spray and pray numbers game, if you don’t communicate in a way that is relevant and meaningful to your audience they will simply ignore your messages or worse, opt out entirely

3 Are contacts still current?

When contacts move company or job, is the data you hold updated accordingly? Are there names and job titles on your list that you know to be out of date? The importance of keeping track of contacts and updating your list is critical if you don’t want to make the wrong impression and waste money.

4 Is your database overdue a ‘spring clean’?

Is your database full of duplicates, test emails, old or incomplete data? You need to keep it clean!  It’s much easier and less daunting to do this regularly. Invest a little bit of time every month to focus on removing the bad, irrelevant data not only does it help you improve the effectiveness of your marketing communications it also allows you to personally get to know your contacts in greater detail.

5 Are there obvious gaps?

When cleaning your database, try and fill any obvious gaps in your data. Spending a bit of time completing postcodes or telephone numbers means you’re able to connect with prospects across channels, rather than relying solely on an email or mailing address. This really helps you gain value from your campaigns and allows your contacts to respond to you in the medium most comfortable to them.

6 Are you legally compliant?

You need to act in accordance with the Data Protection Act. Are you certain that you account for the Corporate Telephone Preference service (CTPS)? Businesses registered with the CTPS have opted out of receiving unsolicited sales and marketing calls and it is a legal requirement that companies do not make calls to those numbers registered on the CTPS. The cost implications for non-compliance can be up to £500,000, so its not something that should be considered lightly.

Once you’ve answered these questions, you will have a better idea of whether your database is in need of an overhaul. If you want to find new leads but don’t have the time to combat all of the above, or you want to ensure your data is clean and up to date, you might find it easier to buy a list of b2b contacts.  A reputable provider will have the most up to date and compliant information that could save you more than just time.

If you do take the time to address these six important areas, then your database should stay current and fit for use. Getting the most out of your business data can set you on the right path for excellent B2B marketing and result in profitable future business opportunities.