Is buying the haystack really the best way to find the needle? | DMA

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Is buying the haystack really the best way to find the needle?


It’s a wilderness out there, and the world of business to business data is no exception. With over 5.5 million businesses operating in the UK, where and how do you start to look for new customers?

Many organisations feel lost and somewhat baffled by the unfamiliar terminology and multitude of options that are thrown at them when looking for Business data. As a result, they often end up buying a large haystack of information that is a) mostly irrelevant to them and b) decays and becomes out of date before they can make use of it all.

In a nutshell, it’s not about volume, it’s about getting the right message to precisely the right people.

Venturing out to buy Business Data without a clear plan, is like going on a long hike in the middle of nowhere, with no map and no GPS capability. The chances are, you’re going to get lost and buy a whole haystack which you don’t need. You may find your way home again, but it will take a lot longer and a lot of things could go wrong! To find those golden contacts you need to plan in advance by following these steps:

Which types of companies should be excluded?

First consider, “what types of companies should I avoid? Which companies take up a lot of my time and never buy from me?” Or at least “which ones spend very little and drain my resources?” The latter should be excluded along with all Customers and Prospects that you’re currently dealing with! Remember: a good data provider will ask to analyse your customers before you buy!

If you’re just starting out and you don’t have many current clients, think about who could really benefit from your products and services. This really is a process of elimination too: Ensure you don’t include any organisations that definitely wouldn’t require your offering.

Who are your best clients?

Next consider, which customers generate the most revenue with the most ease? In other words, ‘Who are my ‘best clients’? What specific industry are they in? What kind of size are these companies? Is there a geographical trend? Are they local to me? Use this initial analysis to focus on who you’re going to target.

Who should I trust for quality data?

Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, you’re considering ‘“Where can I source this information from?” In the vast universe of data, this can feel like a minefield. Everyone you speak to promises you the best data with the best results and you don’t know who to believe. The truth is that no Business to Business data will ever be 100% accurate, anyone that tells you otherwise is lying. The reality of today’s fast-paced and ever-changing market is that a contact at a company can be here today and gone tomorrow. You need a data provider that is hot on the heels of these changes, who is transparent and provides the most accurate data possible.

In part 2, we will provide a complete guide to choosing a data company who’ll provide you not with a haystack, but high quality targeted lists.

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