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What to think about if you’re considering buying data

How to use social media and marketing data lists to attract new customers

Marketing data lists, when used correctly and compliantly are great tools to enhance your social media marketing strategy. And to explain more about this really interesting topic I’ve invited Joanne Clayton from Data Bubble Consultancy Limited to talk us through the benefits and the myths around buying data.

But like all marketing strategies you can’t just rely on doing something once, whether that’s sending an email, creating a social media post, making a phone call or using direct mail. You really should be using a mix of these marketing channels and engaging with your potential customers several times.

Know your customer and understand who you tend to attract

The most crucial element of marketing is to know your ideal customer. Only then will you understand their problems and challenges, what you have that can provide solutions, know the language they use (I don’t mean French or Spanish, I mean their style, for example architects speak in a differently style to plumbers), what social media platforms they use and so much more. All this information will enable you to talk to them directly.

Remember, if you try talking to everyone – you’re not really talking to anyone. Be clear on who it is you are targeting.

Joanne says that it’s so important to target the people you want to work with. And if you have a habit of attracting the type of people or organisations that you don’t enjoy working with, adjust the way you target customers and communicate your key messages. Buying data can be an opportunity to shift to only working with people who bring joy to your work life.

What to think about if you’re considering buying data

Now, I want you to think of your ideal customers at a more granular level. To buy data that is going to be effective, you’ll need to know the sector you are targeting, the title of the decision makers, the size of the company, the location, and whatever else is useful to get the most relevant data list. This will provide you with the ultimate marketing focus rather than a scattergun approach.

Joanne has been passionate about customer data for over 25 years now, so if you need help shaping the information that she needs to get you the perfect list, she’s more than happy to guide you through the process.

Buying quality data

Joanne says that she likes to keep things simple. Phew! The mere mention of the term GDPR can send a shiver down many a spine. Thankfully social media and GDPR can work in perfect harmony!

When you buy data from a reputable data broker you can be assured that it complies with all restrictions and legal requirements. The main source of data is Companies House, credit reference agencies and directories.

woman with phone

When you buy data from a reputable data broker you can be assured that it complies with all restrictions and legal requirements. The main source of data is Companies House, credit reference agencies and directories.

The data is then verified, cleaned and added to. A telephone survey will check their location, their size, name and title of decision makers, etc. Plus, additional information can be gleaned, for example if it’s a hotel, the number of rooms and star rating plus more. This additional information can be obtained to save you time and make sure that you get exactly the right data you are after!

In a nutshell, when buying data from businesses such as Joanne’s, you gain complete peace of mind.

Plus, did you know that you don’t need opt in for limited companies, PLCs or government organisations? For everyone else, you’ll need an opt in. How useful is that to know?

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

On average, it takes a customer to see or hear from you between 7 and 13 times before making a decision to buy your product or use your service. These are called touchpoints.

Communicate, communicate, communicate

Joanne says that she had seen my posts sharing social media advice but came to the decision to book herself onto one of my courses when she saw me present at a networking meeting. This was the touchpoint that reiterated the value I give to solving problems, my credibility, my approach and that I’m trustworthy. All key messages that business owners need to convey to build relationships.


When putting yourself in front of your customers, remember to make it clear that you have the solutions they need. Sometimes, a client doesn’t even know they have a problem until they hear from you.

Social media is such a strong marketing tool as you can create daily touchpoints by adding value without the hard sell. And don’t forget, when using marketing strategies such as email campaigns or direct mail, the decision maker may head to your social media accounts to do a bit more research on you. Make sure that you keep posting content that they want to hear.

Think about your sales funnel

In its simplest form, a sales funnel is a marketing strategy that takes the potential customer on a journey. You may decide to warm your ideal customers with useful social media posts, and then move on to getting their full attention in the form of an email or a direct mail with strong calls to action directing the reader to look at content on a landing page. You get the idea – it’s about nurturing a relationship and influencing an action.

From experience I have found that several of my customers never interact with my social media posts. So please don’t ever think that just because a post didn’t attract many likes or comments that no-one is interested. You’d be surprised how many ‘lurkers’ are out there, these are the people who are watching you, still making up their mind whether to use your services or not. These customers just need a little bit of a nudge which is where data lists can be worth their weight in gold.

Don’t annoy people by ignoring GDPR or ICO rules and regulations

We’ve probably all experienced this. You’ve accepted a connection on LinkedIn and the next thing you know, they’re filling up your inbox with unwanted emails. Annoying, isn’t it?

Just because there is a connection it doesn’t in any way imply that consent has been given to use an email address. There is a tool in LinkedIn where you can download all of your connections’ email addresses but that doesn’t mean that they want you to use them; you could be breaking rules and end up with hefty fines.

It’s no surprise that Joanne does not recommend this approach. It breaks the whole purpose of GDPR which is to stop people from abusing the use of data and to protect individuals.

Joanne’s take away 3 top tips

  1. Identify your ideal customer and talk directly to them.


  1. Make it clear in your messaging that you’re the problem solver with engaging and relevant information.


  1. When you’ve bought data, don’t just use it once, and make sure to implement a follow up process.
  • Find your potential customers on social media (the ones you WANT to work with).
  • Connect with them and follow the company.
  • Interact by liking and commenting on their posts.
  • Get on their radar several times, never be the salesperson. Be visible.

Further material for social media tips:

  1. To discover the 7 areas you need to concentrate on to achieve a successful social media business account put your feet up for 5 minutes and read my blog, ‘7 Focus Areas For Your Social Media In 2021’.

What’s coming up:

My next online workshop focusses on LinkedIn. Over four days (just an hour each day) from 22 June I’ll share my knowledge, experience and proven tips on how to drive business enquiries through this fantastic networking platform.

You’ll learn ways to stay in touch with your existing customers, grow your network and nurture new relationships.

For more details, click on the link button below

Bye for now,


Becs Bate
Social Media Consultant, Social Media Executive


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