The Raw Truth About Data

Data Parameters: One Does Not Simply Walk Into Getting Data

Hello my Dear Decision Makers!
Welcome to my Data Blog, The RAW Truth About Data, please feel free to make yourself at home. My name is Sarah Rawlings and I’m the Operations and Systems Manager for Lead Express.
As for why I’m writing this… I’d like to share some helpful tips and honest advice about Data. Given that this is a broad field, I’ll be taking this topic one small byte at a time. Today I thought I should start where many marketing teams, salesmen and women, and anyone looking to answer a question does: with PARAMETERS.
Let’s define:
pa·ram·e·ter/pəˈramitər/
Noun:

  1. A numerical or other measurable factor forming one of a set that defines a system or sets the conditions of its operation.
  2. A quantity whose value is selected for the particular circumstances and in relation to which other variable quantities may be expressed

In this instance, parameters are defined as a measurement to form a set of data, which is exactly what everyone needs to do before asking someone like myself to go get data for their company.
From my experience, I find that this step is one of the most important in the entire process of creating a reliable and successful data list. Sometimes a sales person is tempted to set broad parameters for data lists as they believe that casting a wide net is the best way to get the leads or answers they are looking for. This is NOT true, we’ve been in business for quite some time now, and statistically we have the greatest success with campaigns that have very focused data desires.
Generally, data parameters for our company are as such:

  • Decision Maker Title: The target job title for the campaign
    • Groupings available: CEO, IT, HR, FIN, MAR
    • Company Size: The size of a business based on people employed
      • Sole-Traders – 1 Employee
      • Micro Businesses – 1-5 Employees
      • Small Businesses – 5-20 Employees
      • Medium Businesses – 20-200 Employees
      • Large Businesses –200+ Employees
  • Industry: This is ideally to be sourced by ANZICs (Australian, New Zealand Industry Codes)
  • Geographical Location
    • Ideally this is to be listed by Postcode
    • We can also search by radius. For example: 30KM of 3000

Whilst all of these parameters are important, to create a well defined list, the most important parameters are the title and the industry. Obviously, geographical location is extremely important, as well as size, but those parameters are more fluid and can grow and change with your company. However, depending on your product, the DMs and the industry you’re targeting remain static.

Titles are key because knowing your target’s title makes getting through gatekeepers much easier. For example, if you call and ask for someone who is no longer working for the company, it’s extremely important to know where to ask to be transferred next. It’s also important because knowing the position of your DM means that you appreciate how their company works and shows understanding as well as competence the first time you communicate with them. Finally, and most importantly, knowing the specific title of your target makes it so that you can speak to them about their field and how your product can make their job easier. If you are planning on contacting Rio Tinto about putting radio signal equipment into their vehicles for tracking, then you need to be able to know who the DM is right away as no one else will be effected by this or be able to make a decision about whether or not they are interested/can purchase.

The industry parameter is probably the most important, and as we all know that knowing your target trade is the only way you can sell a product, I won’t go into why. However, one thing that the  Company strongly suggests: if you are going to use a company like us, and want to target multiple industries, it’s best to target one or two for a month and then target a different set of one or two for the second month. This way, we can tell you where your product is best received and enable both your company and ours to better focus your campaign to receive the greatest return on investment possible. Sometimes this can be a frustrating process because, in the first month, you could do very poorly in one industry. You’ll be tempted to discontinue moving forward with your campaign and thus lose opportunities you could have generated using a different industry focus.

DON’T DO IT! EXPLORE YOUR DATA PARAMETERS!

Continue with your campaign, tweak your data parameters and make sure you find out what the real issues are. Sometimes it’s merely the time of year, sometimes it’s that the target industry isn’t as receptive as you had originally hoped, or any number of variables. One of the most important services a company like ours provides is that we can tell you where your products were received poorly, meaning that your company will know for the future not to waste any more time or money with a lackadaisical industry.

Data Parameters can be much more complex than this as well; something to keep in mind is that no matter how much you want certain kinds of data, if your parameters are too narrow, you may be out of luck in finding what you want. It is extremely difficult to procure data if the parameters are “companies that are in the midst of an internal IT upgrade” or “no companies that have internal training.” So, while this would be exactly what you want, you may have to settle, or even run a campaign that can find out if a company/industry is within your parameters.

Well, I think that about covers parameters for today. Next time on The RAW Truth About Data, we’ll talk about procuring data.

If you have any questions about this article, please email me at sheyburn@leadexpress.com.au