I was lucky enough to start my professional career in a company that was managing a huge worldwide B2B directory of companies.
So I was part of a huge network of companies in seventy-something countries, each contributing locally to this central web database, plus I was promoting to my home market the access and usage of such marketing-purpose database.
I thus learned from the scratch about building a valuable, but standardized company profile for marketing purposes. I know firsthand what information a company is willing to offer during a cold call, what they want and what they don't want to publish in such database. Surely, some companies are more opened than others when it comes to disclose decision makers' names, but they will only give you generic contacts for generic purposes.
Meeting with potential buyers, I've heard about what kind of data people from marketing departments were looking for and in which form they wanted it delivered, so as to best serve their campaigns' ideas.
Plus the valuable information about how fast data becomes obsolete in a non-mature economy. When the core of your service consists of data regarding professionals and their job titles in B2B companies, you see how fast a record turns into an error.
Starting my career by being part of this kind of business has actually prepared me for being a better marketer when building my campaigns’ databases. Thanks to that, I know what's reasonable to ask from the data provider, what are the relevant selection criteria which pinpoint your search, how to map my target market image with a standardized company profile and what fields to include, and what error rate to expect when contacting the prospects; I'll be sharing some of this in my next posts.