Data makes the world go around these days. For marketers, it’s what improves campaign results and drives incremental revenue for their companies. But many marketers lack the data they need to achieve their goals in 2019. In fact, a recent Forbes survey confirms that nearly one in five CMOs admit that one of their top data challenges is a lack of third-party data. Many of these individuals will turn to outside sources to bolster their prospect data repositories this year.
Yet with data privacy laws and consumer data breaches often in the news, uncertainty and confusion exists about the role third-party data can and should play in today’s marketing programs. With that in mind, I thought I’d explain – and bust – four myths about customer acquisition data:
Myth 1: Sending email to acquired email addresses is equivalent to spamming.
A misconception that I sometimes hear is that it is unlawful for marketers to send unsolicited emails to prospects for the purpose of customer acquisition unless they receive permission to do so in advance. Electronic communications laws such as CAN-SPAM (U.S.) state that, essentially, businesses do not need consent prior to sending email as long as they provide a clear option for unsubscribing and follow a few basic rules. Provided marketers follow the rules, they are free to email to these prospects – responsibly of course.
Myth 2: Using third-party data is risky.
A 2018 poll by Deloitte and Duke University covered marketers’ concerns about third-party data usage, especially with regard to privacy concerns. While about 10% of respondents said they were very worried, the majority (about 19%) said they were not worried at all, and an additional 18% rated their worry level on the second-lowest level on a one through five scale. The good news here is that most marketers seem to understand the rules of using acquired data, and also have confidence that their data is well protected via their company’s security systems and firewalls.
Myth 3: Demand for third-party data is decreasing.
According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, overall spend by U.S. marketers increased 17.5% in 2018 to $19.2 billion. Marketers’ demand for third-party data was also made clear by the July 2018 acquisition of data aggregator Acxiom for $2.3 billion by Interpublic Group. Finally, a 2018 poll by DemandLab found that 42% of respondents said that third-party information vendors are an effective source for their marketing campaigns. In short, the market for third-party data is as strong as ever, and should only continue to increase as marketers lean on customer acquisition data and analytics to fuel their growth objectives in the years ahead.
Myth 4: Email delivery platforms are simple and all pretty much the same.
Marketers interested in using email acquisition data should first understand the capabilities of their in-house email platform. Some platforms (e.g. Act-On) can easily accept and integrate third-party email data, while others (e.g. Mail Chimp, Constant Contact) are simply not the best choice for this purpose. The lesson here is to set yourself up for success by ensuring you have the right technology in place to get the job done.
Third-party data – including how, when and where to obtain it and use it – needs to be understood by every marketer in today’s digital economy. In my opinion, it’s a lot less complicated than it seems on the surface. But what I don’t understand is when marketers let myths get in the way of reaching their business growth goals. As always, we at OMI stand ready to assist you in using data to reach your maximum potential and revenue objectives. Let us know how we can support you in 2019.
Outward Media’s accurate, targeted email data can enable you to achieve better email marketing ROI by targeting your best prospects – including top-level executives -- and, ultimately, converting more prospects into customers. Take a look at our case studies to find out more.