The Need for New Customers. Where do you find them?

The key is to enrich your data sources for increased Insight.

Every business has faced it – The Need for New Customers.  Where do you find them? 

The answer starts with data about prospects and that begins with you understanding and being very clear about exactly who you want to accomplish with the data that you acquire.  You can either acquire lists of prospects or rent or license them.

Acquiring Prospect lists

Prospect lists are typically rented through specialized brokers.  There are more than 34,000 business lists available for rent, at prices ranging from $50 per thousand (M) to more than $200/M.  Business lists often focus more on the job title or function than the individual person, and they come in two general types: compiled files and response files.

Compiled files.

Compiled lists are those created from directories or other public and private sources for the purpose of resale or rental to marketers.  The names on compiled files have some characteristic in common, whether it’s geographic or demographic, or related to industry, job function or product type.

Compiled files can also be found in relatively small niche target categories. Look for trade associations, professional associations and trade publications in your target industry or segment.

Response files. 

Response lists are created as a by-product of other businesses, like catalog sales, seminars, trade organization memberships, or magazine and newsletter subscriptions.  Response files tend to be more current and accurate than compiled files, and they usually contain some useful information about product interest or buying authority.

One of the issues faced by B2B companies who deal with two-tier distribution is determining who might be responding to outbound marketing communications sent from the manufacturer.

This is especially troubling to manufacturers if the responses are designed to flow to dealers or resellers who can respond quicker to customer requests.

Recently, some distributors are getting smarter about these special “responses.”  Sensing that they play an important role between manufacturer and reseller, they have begun to take steps to value the data of these responses.

Many distributors are managing their own marketing operations and analytical databases so that they can provide information to both the manufacturers they serve as well as their resellers.

Often this information has so much value that the smarter distributors are packaging it for resale to manufacturers and using it as “reasons to engage” with their resellers.  Response data is highly priced in this situation.

Renting or Licensing Lists

B2B lists, like consumer, are available for either rental or license, depending on the preference of the list owner and on the marketer’s ability to negotiate.  To summarize the difference between these types of deals:

  • Rental agreements typically require that the list owner approve the renter, to protect the list from competitors.

The renter then agrees to use the list just once.  The list owner enforces this rule by seeding the list with decoy names, and reporting any divergence from the one-time usage agreement.

Any respondents to campaigns mailed to rented lists become the property of the marketer.

  • License deals typically cover unlimited use of the names for one year, although additional years can be negotiated.

Some people refer to this kind of deal as a “data purchase,” versus a rental, but because of the one-year time limit, technically the deal is a license. The data may be imported into the marketer’s database and used for communications or analysis.

Pricing for licensing deals is usually around two times the base list rental price, so they generally make economic sense for multi-touch campaign strategies.  However, not all list owners are willing to offer names for license.

Any kind of deal may be possible, but as a general rule, business marketers find that response lists are more suitable for one-time rental agreements, and compiled files may work for data rental or license, depending on the quality and relevance of the data.

Next- Four examples where decisions mustbe made about rental or license



Theresa Kushner
Theresa Kushner
Theresa Kushner is a self-styled data-vangelist who brings her passion for all things data into her consultancy. Having held positions in F100 companies for most of her career, she now dedicates her time to helping start-ups and small/medium businesses scale using their customer information. She applies the skills she acquired as an executive at Dell EMC, VMware, Cisco Systems and IBM to help leaders apply data governance and 21st century data management techniques to their business intelligence and advanced analytics programs. She helps companies determine whether they are ready to take advantage of advanced techniques such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotic process engineering. She also helps guide companies in using more effectively for customer experience the data they collect on a daily basis. Ms. Kushner co-authored “Managing Your Business Data from Chaos to Confidence” with Maria Villar in 2009 and 2015 collaborated with Ruth P Stevens on “B2B Data-Driven Marketing: Sources, Uses, Results.” Ms. Kushner is a graduate of the University of North Texas where she received a Master of Arts in Journalism. She serves on the Advisory Boards of UNT Mayborn School of Journalism as well as

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