7 things to consider when you shop for a data enrichment provider
Romantic spirits may say that love makes the world go ’round, but we in RevOps have a different perspective: data makes the world go ’round. After all, everything we do depends on data, and to borrow another cliché, it’s complicated. We’re all after the best data we can get, but with so many options, making the right data enrichment provider choices can be confusing. How do you pick the right vendor? Which technologies do you need? For that matter, what data do you need? And most of all, how do you maximize ROI?
1. Understand your needs before you select data enrichment providers
Wait, did we say “providers,” plural? Yes, we did. Depending on what you determine you need, it’s usually necessary, even preferable, to work with more than one data enrichment company. Let’s look at why. The next rule to remember is:
2. There’s no such thing as a perfect database for every company
Keep that in mind because it’s going to come in handy. Why introduce third-party data into your existing database? Typically, companies have three reasons, but they may view the order of importance differently. Companies are trying to:
• Identify new prospects.
• Enrich existing prospect data.
• Validate first- and third-party data.
Once you’re clear on what’s most important for the company, that will set you off on the right course to finding the right data enrichment company providers. But first, let’s get a little more specific.
3. Make sure you understand which processes the data enrichment provider supports
By understanding what aspects of data are most important to you, you can narrow down to the set of data providers that best fit your needs. You probably have a bunch of goals in mind, so make sure you get data that will help you achieve them.
That means finding data enrichment providers that can help you:
• Improve inside sales team efficiency by finding a provider that pre-verifies phone numbers.
• Do bulk and targeted mailings by delivering optimized postal service address data.
• Segment your new and existing data by ensuring that job titles are accurate enough to derive the correct job function, level, and persona.
• Get more information from input forms without asking by filling in the blanks on intake data coming from landing pages, contact forms, and offer redemptions.
It would be amazing if you could get all of that from a single data enrichment company, but as we said, it’s complicated. Every provider has strengths and weaknesses. And suppose you’re looking for custom data, like the number of beds in a hospital, office locations, or the average hotel room cost. In that case, you’ll need an industry-specific vendor that almost certainly won’t have some of the other information you’re looking for.
4. Who and what is your target market?
Wait, you’re not quite ready to reach out to providers just yet. If you haven’t done so already, you’ll need to define your target audience. Most companies know who their target customers are, but you need to get very specific for data enrichment. Consider all of this:
- Who do you sell to? Businesses or consumers? Do you sell to large enterprises, mid-range companies, or small ones? And how do you define size, anyway? By the number of employees? Revenue?
- Do you sell into specific industries or sectors? If so, the data provider you select should specialize in your verticals.
- Which departments do you sell to? Knowing this will help you evaluate whether a provider has enough job functions and departments coverage.
- What’s the typical job level of the people who buy from you? Many data providers focus on decision-makers and budget owners, but if you sell at a higher level, like to CxOs, you’ll need that data.
- How do you get your incoming leads? If you use freemium or free trials, you’ll likely need an IT-focused database—because it’s the folks in IT who evaluate new products and services.
- Where are your customers? While it’s easy to get good data in the US and Canada, other regions might not have as extensive coverage. It’s possible to buy data from country-specific vendors. Just make sure they’re compliant with all the local, regional, and national privacy initiatives implemented in the last few years—and more coming online.
5. What to do when you get the bill
Another consideration when shopping for a data enrichment provider is how—and whether—to pay for it. As with any type of IP, there are several options. Different providers may offer only some of these options, so it’s good to know going in how your company wants to pay for data:
- Use pre-paid credits as needed: buy credits in advance and use them as you need them.
- Pay per record: No need to pay in advance, but you’ll pay for each record as you choose it.
- Pay per inquiry: Pay whenever you make an enrichment request, even if you’ve requested the same record before.
- Rent the database: This option delivers all the records in a database, and you can use all the records and make as many inquiries as you want. This is a good option if you’re continually keeping your database up to date using a data automation platform like Openprise.
6. Enrich data without a data enrichment provider for free
A lot of companies have plenty of data. They don’t need to buy more. But the data isn’t as complete as RevOps would like. Or, there’s a lack of uniformity or completely unstructured data: data came into the system from multiple sources, so the records don’t flow easily into your conventions. When this happens, you shouldn’t have to pay another third-party provider. You can use free alternatives to help you fill in the blanks.
A. Open Data: Use easily found reference data to infer missing data. For example, if a contact has a ZIP code, you can be confident they’re in the United States. You can infer more detailed information from telephone country and area codes, like 408 puts a contact in the San Jose, California region, and 407 pinpoints Florida. Another terrific resource is the Marketing Open Data Project, which provides lists of cities, states, counties, countries, area codes, and more.
B. Freemium services: like Google Maps, Search, and Translate are available as APIs and come with a free usage tier. These services can do things like complete partial addresses, provide business names, types, and phone numbers, and even standardize address text to a format you can use in your database.
C. Automation: Automating enrichment can be simple. Using the Excel VLOOKUP formula, or something more advanced like Openprise, you can keep your data continually updated.
7. Like diamonds, data enrichment is forever
We began by telling you that data makes the world go ’round and that data enrichment is complicated. But the most essential bit of wisdom we can give you comes to us from the immortal words of Beyoncé—if you like it, then you should put a ring on it. In other words, enriching your data isn’t something you do once and forget about. It’s an ongoing concern. Data comes in every minute of every day, information changes, your company’s priorities change, and even laws surrounding data evolve with the times. That’s why it’s vital to take all these considerations into account when looking for a data enrichment provider (or three). Your data’s a long-term commitment, and you need to be sure you’re getting it right.
There’s much more to learn about data enrichment and how to implement it. Download this Openprise white paper for a deeper dive.
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