Can You Trust Your Data Provider…

…To Deliver the Most Important Contact Information?

When you hear the phrase "ethically sourced," you probably think about sustainability and social impact. Eggs from free-range chickens. Fair trade coffee. Or diamonds that are mined without exploiting workers or the environment.

You probably don't think about data.

You'd be surprised to know how much of the data available to B2B marketers today is not ethically sourced. In a world of security breaches and social media amplification, do you want your brand and business associated with unscrupulous or potentially illegal business practices? As Michael Bird noted in his previous post, that is exactly the dilemma many sales and marketing leaders face when working with data providers who lack integrity and governance.

…many data providers are not able to go beyond the more traditional email and phone number information contact information…to offer essential insights such as digital identifiers, intent data or predictive analytics.
 

More importantly, many data providers are not able to go beyond the more traditional email and phone number information contact information. They are not able to offer essential insights such as digital identifiers, intent data or predictive analytics. These are essential given today’s digital and hyper-competitive world.

 

For B2B sales and marketing teams, the right data provider gives you access to a wealth of company information; the best ones will even help you identify your most likely prospects. And, contact data at key accounts is essential. In today’s multichannel world, you need to reach contacts in a variety of ways — online as well as offline. So, traditional contact information like phone and email is no longer enough. You need to be able to connect IP addresses to companies, identify which companies are most likely to purchase from you, and even know immediately if a web visitor has shown behavior that they intend to make a purchase. It takes hard work to ethically source all this important data.

As tempting as it might be for marketing organizations to take shortcuts or source cheaply, company leadership must ask if the risk is worth it. And if it isn’t (trust us, it isn’t) they must ensure that:

  • Vendors are selected strategically and provide a holistic and integrated approach to improving sales and marketing performance
  • Contact vendors can provide digital identifiers as well as the more traditional email address and phone number
  • All contact data providers are complying with all regulations and laws governing the acquisition of that data
  • They avoid agreements with vendors that install any type of data collection agent or software on their systems. (be especially aware of email plug-ins that could potentially expose your organization to cybersecurity and privacy risks)
  • Employees understand NOT to opt-in to data sharing via pop ups
  • Agreements don't include a license to access contact data stored in the email client and/or email accounts, including contact lists and possibly even email messages

If you are unsure of how your contact data vendor operates, download our essential guide outlining the key questions to ask.

Here at Dun & Bradstreet, we believe ethical business practices and scalable growth go hand in hand. In fact, ethical practices are a big reason our clients put their trust in us. We are proud that the Ethisphere Institute has voted us one of the world’s most ethical companies for eleven years in a row.

In our next blog, we’ll go into more details on how we responsibly source our contact data. In the meantime, you may want to start looking at your contact data vendors more closely with regards to both sourcing practices and the ability to provide more modern insights.