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Where Does Data Come From Where Does Data Come From

The Top 7 Sources for Marketing Leads

Where Does Data Come From? -- Seven Sources for Marketing Leads

Introduction to Marketing Data

Anyone who has done marketing at scale has heard these questions before: How did you get my name? Who gave you my number? How can I stop all the advertising? They are common questions from people who are frustrated with solicitations or, in some cases, are ornery by nature. Regardless of the attitude or tone used to ask the question, it deserves an answer. Despite the rumors, marketing data does not just appear from thin air.

Marketing data drives the economy. Businesses thrive or survive based on how effectively they are able to market their products and services to people or businesses that need them. Whether it's the timely introduction from a friend of a friend that can help, or the killer new device that all the friends and family are buying, without marketing there would be less cool stuff to make our lives better. By definition, you’ve heard of all the companies that effectively use marketing data that matter to you, and if any business is going to thrive, it must effectively source and use marketing data too. So where does the data come from? Here are seven common sources for marketing data.


Seven Sources of Marketing Data

1. Businesses that you buy from

Marketing data, whether it's the name and address of an individual consumer or a business primarily comes from you and the other people that buy things from a business. No matter what a business sells, word of mouth and referrals is usually the most effective source of marketing data. For this reason, businesses keep track of this data in a variety of ways, from the simple business cards and rolodexes to spreadsheets and complex customer relationship management software. The primary purpose of all tracking methods is to write down the names, contact information, and important information needed to effectively market products and services to people a business and its employees work with as customers or as prospective customers in the future for less expensive.

2. Cooperative Databases and Social Networks

Second, successful companies will often share their data with other companies. Simplistically this started as friends exchanging rolodexes and has evolved from large cooperative databases or Coop data to online social networks. In exchange for letting someone else see your data you get access to their data and their relationships. Coop databases are very popular in industries that are largely relationship driven or niche industries where there maybe few influencers. Social networks like Facebook and LinkedIN have proven that sharing relationships is universally accepted as an effective way of getting access to marketing data.

3. Licensed Data

Third, some companies will license their data to other companies in exchange for licensing fees. Most credit bureaus and market research companies (think Experian, Acxiom, and Nielsen) will license data to third parties in exchange for fees, often selling data on a per name basis. Companies that have less comprehensive databases or companies in more targeted niche areas, like insurance, medicare, and real estate will often license their data to a data broker who will then resell the data for a profit after paying royalties to the data owners.

4. Lead Generation

Companies like BankRate or LendingTree for example, specialize in generating interest in certain types of products through online forms, telemarketing, direct mail, or social media and licensing data as their primary business model. These types of companies exist anywhere there is a known market for high demand products or services such as mortgages, higher education, and car dealerships. These types of companies will usually specialize in an industry where they can establish popular websites or repeatable telemarketing practices to consistently generate interest or offer value. LendingTree offers an easy way to “shop” mortgage rates just like Travelocity or Orbitz offers the ability shop hotel rooms or flights.

Important Sources of Compiled Data

Several companies specialize in compiling or collecting data from public and proprietary sources and then license or sell the data for a profit. This type of data is often used for mass media advertising and marketing campaigns for products or services that have broad or universal appeal. This data is usually behind the marketing that you get in the mail for example or the telemarketing calls you try to ignore. There are three main types of compiled data including public records, online data, and telemarketing data.

5. Compile Public data

Public and government sources are some of the most obvious sources for compiling marketing data about businesses and consumers, and there are a variety of sources. The government will publish much of this data in order to encourage business and stimulate the economy. The U.S. Census for example is conducted once every ten years and summary level data is then published to allow businesses to effectively plan and market their products and services. The U.S. Department of Labor and several other bureaus will also publish summary data about businesses and consumers. Property records, liens, court filings, and citations are another public source for data that is used for marketing to consumers. UCC filings, SEC filings, and business licenses, SAM.gov and the DUNS systems are common public sources for business data.

6. Compile Online data

Data disclosed on public facing websites is increasingly becoming a common source for compilers to collect data on consumers and businesses alike. Addresses and executive contact information is often scraped from business websites. Social networks, search engines, email service providers, and other online forums and businesses will collect personal and business data and metadata such as search terms and browsing history to more effectively market as well. The primary source of revenue for the largest search engines and social networks is selling access to marketing data or targeted marketing campaigns.

7. Compile Telemarketing data

Many traditional data compilers will call companies to ask questions about your business to collect information that they will use to market to you or sell to someone else. Some companies will use an autodialer to do phone number validation. Their method is simple--by dialing numbers as a survey method to determine which numbers ring, which numbers do not, and whether someone picks the line up.