Where does Business marketing data come from?

Share Twitter Logo Facebook Logo LinkedIn Logo Google Plus Logo

Have you ever wondered about the precise origin of the business data you buy? Well, there are many available sources of business data, and determining where best to source data for your specific business requirements can be a minefield. Here we explore some of those sources to give you an overview:

Main sources of data - then and now

The three traditional main sources of data are much the same as they were previously. However, the reliability and completeness of the sources has changed in recent years for various reasons:

  • Companies House –predominantly provides ‘Registered Address’ rather than trading addresses. This often means that the address provided for a business is that of a company’s Solicitor or Accountant rather than their trading address.
  • Directories (e.g. Thomson/Yell) – Many of the directories use the BT OSIS file to research and compile Business data. Until recent years this was a comprehensive and exhaustive list of business details, as any company with a telephone line had to set it up through BT. That is no longer the case. If another telecoms supplier sets up a line, BT will not necessarily possess the data for that business.
  • Large Credit Reference agencies (such as Dunn & Bradstreet, Experian, etc.) – these organisations now conduct increasing amounts of research to provide more information on each business and its contacts. This may include Industries/ SIC Code/ Main Contacts, etc. and is predominantly compiled for the purpose of credit scoring/screening.

Additional sources of data

Other sources of data include:

  • Publishers – some will compile and sell their subscriber lists for different magazines. This is particularly useful when you are looking to target a business udience based on their specific interest (e.g. IT, Marketing, HR, Management) and therefore what that audience reads, etc.
  • Events and Exhibitions – again some will compile and sell their delegate (and exhibitor) lists for particular interests, job titles, business type and more, as they hold this information from registration details.
  • Specialist data agencies – these agencies have much lower volumes of data but focused in specialist areas or sectors such as Healthcare, Public Sector, IT, etc. They research and gather the data using their experience in particular areas.

Where to find the best data for your needs

With these varied sources and options it can be a real ordeal for the individual business looking to find the best and most appropriate data. For that reason it is advisable to use a full service data agency who really know data and can offer different list offerings, as well as having industry contacts to broker other lists if needed.

Full service agencies such as Data HQ can help obtain /provide the best data for your specific business needs - we know where to source different types of lists. We can also help you with building, maintaining and managing a prospect pool.

How to select your Full Service data agency

A lot of “Tier One” suppliers do have access to the same sources of data. However, the key to obtaining the best possible list for your campaigns is in the supplier’s regular maintenance and cleansing of the source files. This ensures they are fit for use and appropriate to client needs.

Always look for a data agency that offers services over and above simply supplying marketing lists – services that might include profiling, audits, cleansing and database management.

  • Do you struggle to find knowledgeable data suppliers to help you find the most appropriate data?
  • Have you ever been badly advised on what B2B list to buy?