As a marketing professional, you want to make sure that your message is reaching the right people. Accurate data is gold when it comes to marketing a product. Many 21st century marketing professionals have turned to 3rd party data providers to obtain this data. These data companies offer huge sets of data collected from internet users that purport to show detailed demographic data. This data is advertised as being ideal for marketing professionals, but this is not always accurate. There is a wide range of quality from third party data providers. Here is a list of traits to watch out for in judging whether your third party data provider is worth your money.
Lack of Transparency
If you can’t get an idea of where your 3rd party data provider obtains its data, then the data might be less than useless. Third party data providers collect massive amounts of information on potential consumers. They can be secretive about their sources of data and the methods used to collect them. Don’t expect a data provider to give you all their secrets, but do ask about their methods of gathering data. When you define outsource, you are still responsible for how your vendors and suppliers are operating. A third party data provider that is unclear about their methods is not a partner worth trusting. A third party data provider’s lack of transparency could be a warning sign that your marketing budget is being wasted.
Data Type Imbalances
Data providers rely on several types of data to create segments to sell to marketers, and an imbalance in these data types are a warning sign for you. Try to find out what proportion of the provider’s data is behavioral (e.g. browser history) versus inferred (i.e. guesswork based on comparison to other internet users). Watch out for companies that rely too heavily on guesswork inferred data. It may seem like you’re paying for information on a potential market for your product, but if the data mostly results from inference, it may be of no value to your marketing goals.
Poor Data Sources
Along with data types, you need to watch out for data providers that use poor sources in collecting information. Third party data providers obtain information from a wide variety of sources, including data sets purchased from other providers. Ask for more information about the source of the data you are buying for marketing campaigns. If a large proportion of their data is purchased from other partners, it may be a sign that the data provider is not going to provide good information for your marketing campaigns.
Inconsistent Data Quality
A third party data provider that cannot provide consistent information for your marketing is not worth the time. Problems with inconsistent data quality point to greater issues with the data provider’s collection methods. It might show that they don’t have proper verification vs validation processes in place. Because these companies can be so opaque about their methods, consistent data quality over time is one of the most important signs that you are spending your budget wisely.
Lack of Partners
A final warning sign that your 3rd party data provider is worth changing is a lack of good data partners. A third party data provider must partner with many sources of data to provide useful information. If they rely too heavily on a few data collection techniques and partnerships, the information they are selling may be worthless. Try to find out whether the provider has the right connections to furnish you information that can actually be helpful in a marketing campaign.
Getting the right data is crucial when you are planning a marketing campaign. Better data translates to more sales and increased revenue. If you are wondering whether the third party data providers you work with are worth your budget, check to see how transparent their methods are. Ascertain as best you can the type of data they collect and their major sources to see if the data can be relied upon to be accurate. Look at their track record of successful agile planning and decide whether they have always provided good data. Finally, look at their connections and partnerships to see whether they are truly obtaining data that you can put to use. As a marketing professional, evaluating your third party data providers can be challenging. Look for these warning signs to help you decide whether or not they are worth your money.