Buying data on a quest to completely redefine the limits of traditional-digital marketing.
Let’s begin by listing the most common reasons people use the internet for:
- Getting Information (Google)
- Staying Connected (Social Media Networks)
The biggest reason people are drawn to these tools is that they are free to use. However, as we all know, if you’re getting something for free on the internet, you’re the product!
Corporations like Google and Facebook have amassed an incredible fortune by offering their platforms for free. The only thing they want in return is to watch their users’ behavior and personalize their platforms so that they can enjoy them more. Doesn’t sound so bad right? Their news feed will be filled with stuff that they are interested in and the ads won’t be so annoying.
People consider this to be such a great deal that they rush to accept a very long legal document without even reading it!
Ok now, Google and Facebook (as the main players in the game) have only one thing to figure out.
Table of contents:
- The Buying Ads Model – Why it sucks?
- The Buying Data Model – Why it works?
- How, When and Where To Buy B2B Data
- How, When and Where To Buy B2C Data
How to translate user data into commercial intent.
The moment their AI’s realize that people with a puppy in their profile picture will also need a leash, they are stinking rich.
Google’s 200K and Facebook’s 66K employees are more than enough to figure this out.
And they did alright.
Today, you can go to Google Ads or Facebook Ads, and without any previous experience, you can set up and run campaigns. They have continuously simplified their platforms so that any person can go there and spend their money in no time!
Usually, the most attractive (and the easiest to comprehend) feature that all companies use for targeting is interest.
Let’s say you sell sneakers. You can actually choose to target people that are in the market for buying a new pair of sneakers! (source)
For most businesses and digital marketers, it cannot get more sophisticated than this.
There is no other platform that gives access to so many potential customers, and at the same time, being so user friendly so that anyone can reach their specific target audience.
The Buying Ads Model – Why it sucks?
Not really a model…just a simple way for me to make my case.
Google and Facebook are the middlemen between companies and customers.
Businesses pay the middlemen -> the middlemen display ads in front of a relevant audience -> a small percentage of the people who saw the ads convert into customers.
Just to be clear, the average percentage of people who convert into paying customers is:
Facebook: 0.90% (source)
Google: 3.75 percent for Search and 0.77 percent for Display (source)
“Aha…so a lot of potential customers don’t actually become customers. And what if I want to show them my ads again? I can only imagine that it would positively affect the conversion rates. Do I need to pay again?”
“Of course, you’ll need to pay again. Why would you even ask that?”
Noone asks this, because not many know that there is an alternative. There is actually a way to cut out the middleman and still access the exact same audience, only this time it’ll be under your terms.
The Buying Data Model – Why it works?
Again, not really a model…although it should be!
First of all, let’s cover the different types of customer data:
1. Behavioral Data
Behavioral data helps you define patterns in the way customers use your products and services. The end goal of this type of data is to optimize your website and increase conversion rates.
2. Qualitative Data
Through qualitative data, you can uncover attitudinal information, opinion, and motivation about your brand (and your competitors), why they purchased your product or services, and how they feel about it.
3. Identity Data
We reached the good stuff!
Identity data consists of information such as name, gender, age, phone number, postal address, email address, profession, social media handles, and account information (customer account IDs)
The identity data group is the basis for defining and creating your buyer personas, giving you a clear picture of what kind of people are interested in your products and services. This allows you to determine your target demographic. You can collect your customer’s unique identity information when they subscribe to your newsletter, when they make a purchase, or when they sign up for a membership. If your company uses a CRM tool, you can store, organize, and centralize this information in one place. You can then use this data to filter customer segments, which can be useful for personalizing email campaigns.
I can only imagine that most of you have a clearly defined target audience, which is of course based on data that’s gathered through marketing. You can self-check that by giving an answer to these questions:
- What’s the age range of your customers?
- What’s their gender?
- Where do they live?
- What are their hobbies?
- What are their interests?
The answers to these general questions are usually used when creating an advertising campaign.
However, you can also use these same characteristics when you’re purchasing a huge list of email addresses.
There are a number of services that do only one thing.
They scrape personal and business data that is publicly available. The two biggest sources for data scraping are:
- Linkedin – for business data
- Instagram – for personal data
The data scraping industry has gotten so advanced that nowadays they offer pretty much the same targeting options as Google or Facebook. The only difference is that with the ad platforms you pay each time you run a campaign. On the other hand, when you purchase data you pay only one time, and then you own that data.
So, let me summarize that:
You can order yourself a huge batch of emails (personal or business) that has the exact same characteristics as your targeted audience!!!
I have a long experience working in digital marketing agencies, and there is one thing that we all agreed upon.
If there is one digital channel that will always be the most profitable one, it’s email marketing.
How, When and Where The time of Buying Data
When it comes to the B2B world, there are these super expensive tools like DiscoverOrg or ZoomInfo that sync with everything you have, and your 60-year-old CMO probably loves to use. The problem with them is that they are:
- Super expensive
- Give you access only to one predetermined specific niche
In my previous company, we bought DiscoverOrg for buying data engineers from companies that have 1000+ employees. That cost us $20k per year. Now what happened, while we used the software is that we discovered that “Heads of Data” at smaller (startup) companies were a much better target for us. Oh well, there goes another $20,000 to DiscoverOrg…
Well not really. Being a huge AppSumo fan, I saw this video in my inbox.
A company based out of sunny Spain called FindThatLead was trying to compete against the “big guys” offering the same functionality but with the upside of not limiting you to a specific choice of niche, yearly deals, or huge prices.
Their “Prospector” tool allowed us to find contact info based on the geo, title, industry and company size, same as DiscoverOrg for 1/50 of the price
The results, well, the fact that I am writing a guest blog post should tell you. But it doesn’t stop there.
I may sound like an Infomercial guy but along with FindThatLead comes a tool for Linkedin automation called Scrabin.
Why is this worth mentioning? Because as a channel at this moment (June 2020) Linkedin outperforms email for getting responses by 2x.
Having a campaign with multiple touches in different channels outperforms that by 2x. So you do the math.
Here is what our sequence looks like based on:
- MadKudu for scoring
- FTL for prospecting
- Scrabin for LinkedIn outreach
- AdRoll for retargeting
Needless to say that buying data and having a campaign like this resulted in 5x more conversions. I’ll repeat, 5x!
How, When and Where To Buy B2C Data
As you can see most of my experience is in B2B Growth but one project I did started with my brother that dealt with Instagram automation. We managed to find, filter and validate emails from Instagram automatically and that’s what we used to grow to 1000+ paying users.
Yes, everyone wants to be an Instagram influencer…
About a year ago though it became increasingly tough to deal with automation so we wanted a way out. And the answer was right in front of us.
We used our own data to grow to 40K MRR, why not provide that to other e-commerce businesses or anyone that needs B2C data so they can use it to grow too. So we did.
Now, Influencers Club is the only company on the data scraping market that’s offering 26 data points on every person on Instagram. For those of you who don’t know, this means that there are 26 different targeting options you can choose from. You can slice and dice until you’re left with only the most relevant people.
One scenario would be:
“Since I’m selling bikinis through my online store, I want to buy 50 000 emails of:
- Age 18-35
- In The USA
- With interest in Travel and Photography
- That have a website link on the profile
Our mix of in-house built ML algorithms, FullContact’s API enrichment, and Clearbit enrichment, allow us to be really, really, really targeted when it comes to buying data.
You make the order and within 48 hours you get email addresses and phone numbers along with all those other data points, that are 100% validated and ready to use!
Usually buying data is used for highly targeted outreach campaigns, inserting it as a custom audience in FB, or both.
Take a look if you’d like to read more about how and why we implemented our Instagram scraper, or just come by our website and book a strategy call with me.
Be safe and well all and start buying data!