What to look for in a Fractional CMO for B2B SaaS? How do you evaluate an Interim CMO and how to hold a SaaS CMO accountable?
If you’re looking to buy a marketing list, chances are that you’ll end up burning a few thousand dollars and disappointed by the list quality if you don’t do some homework researching the provider first. I’ve heard a laundry list of complaints about purchased lists from clients:
- “It wasn’t what we expected.”
- “It has poor data quality.” “The campaigns were a mess.”
- “It does not have any contacts I actually want to reach out to.”
- “It doesn’t fit my ICP.”
If you’re looking to buy marketing lists, you might be facing some of these challenges:
- Your pipeline is dry, and the sales team needs leads to reach out to now!
- Inbound efforts are not picking up. You should not have put all your eggs in one basket.
- You need to introduce a product to a niche industry where you have limited connections.
- You are attempting to target a specific niche market with your latest offering.
- You’re struggling to expand your marketing contacts organically.
Look familiar? Perhaps you need a little bit more guidance; let’s see.
Why buy a targeted marketing list?
The challenges above are all valid reasons to buy a list, but most of them are reactive scenarios which, by the way, we have heard pretty often from customers. However, there are more reasons to buy a list than these reactive ones; lists are a tactical foundation of many critical strategic marketing and sales efforts.
Buying vs. building
Creating your own marketing list can be time-consuming and requires a lot of effort to compile, validate and update regularly. In contrast, purchasing a high-quality marketing list from a reputable provider can save you time and money while giving you access to a larger audience of potential customers. However, it's important to note that building your own list can offer greater control over the quality and relevance of the data, while buying a list may come with a higher risk of receiving inaccurate or outdated information. Ultimately, buying or building your own list depends on your specific business needs, goals, and available resources.
However, without a doubt having the right targeted lists of ideal potential customers is key to marketing and sales alignment, focus, and strategy. By using lists, businesses can identify and laser in on their most promising accounts and prospects, which can help maximize efforts' effectiveness. Here are a few reasons to buy a list for your business.
Validate your ideal customer profile (ICP)
One of the keys to a successful go-to-market strategy is identifying your ideal customer profile (ICP) and focusing your sales and marketing efforts on a specific target audience. However, without a targeted list of accounts and prospects to reach out to, it can be difficult to find and engage with them; this is where a marketing list comes in.
By curating a list of prospects that fit your ICP, you can streamline your lead generation efforts to obtain market insights, increase conversions and reduce wasted time and resources. A well-curated list will help validate your ICP by identifying and targeting the exact types of companies and individuals most likely to be interested in your product or service.
Launch an account-based marketing (ABM) program
ABM is a strategic approach focused on targeting specific accounts and individuals within those accounts with tailored and aligned marketing and sales efforts. A high-quality marketing list is critical to ABM because it enables your business to identify and target the right accounts and decision-makers. By leveraging a marketing list for ABM, businesses can increase their chances of closing high-value deals and achieving long-term success.
Looking for more resources on the essentials of ABM? Check out our article on "The 7 key steps of B2B SaaS ABM."
Expand your reach
You could complement your sales and marketing efforts with a marketing list to help you expand your reach faster than waiting for leads to find your website. Marketing lists provide access to a larger curated audience and can help you connect with the right prospects who might not have found your business otherwise. Some or all of these efforts could either apply to you or not depending on where your audience is, where they spend most of their time, your product, your budget and your resources available.
- Targeting the right people in large key accounts.
- Implementing outbound marketing & sales.
- Fueling PPC efforts like Facebook & Linkedin with a great audience.
Target an immature market: "Make the market"
In some cases, a business might be operating in an immature market where prospects aren’t solution-aware (or even problem aware). In these situations, buying a marketing list is a no-brainer that can help you jumpstart your go-to-market efforts by allowing you to reach out to great-fit prospects without waiting for them to come to you. Taking a proactive approach and creating demand for your product or service can help shape the market and position your business for long-term success. A well-curated list can help you identify early adopters and influencers who can help drive adoption and establish your business as a leader in the market.
Optimize your resources’ time
Depending on the industry you are in and the size of your SOM (serviceable obtainable market), you’ll likely need a full-time team member or make significant use of your BDRs’ or SDRs’ time to qualify and generate enough quality accounts for your sales team without list support. Which, by the way, will probably be isolated and disconnected from your marketing efforts, just making it worse. That’s why running ABM campaigns with pre-generated contact lists is a great approach to concentrate and align both efforts while saving your team’s time.
How to identify a good B2B marketing list provider
Database providers vs. list providers
Let's start by understanding that a list provider is different from a contact or company database provider.
A marketing list provider understands what you need and generates it only for you; it is customized and tailored to your needs. In contrast, a contact or company database provides access to a portal, so you have to export the data available in the database that matches your needs.
Good list providers want to help you succeed by providing you with the exact list you need; the right contacts and companies (unless it isn’t possible and you’re looking for Chief Alien Officers located on Mars).
Signals that you’re in front of a good list provider
First, check to see if the provider has a good reputation. You can do this by reading online reviews and testimonials similar to this.
If the provider arranges a session to understand your ICP or the type of accounts you want to target and why it is a good signal. Look to see if they work to align themselves to your strategy and target contacts/accounts as if they were part of your team.
They understand your target persona and the goal behind contacting these key contacts. They also understand that a job title alone does not determine that the contact is either the decision maker, influencer, or user of your solution or product you’re offering, but there might also be variants with different jobs to be done.
Providing you with a sample list before committing to paying anything is a huge good signal; serious list providers give you an output sample, and their lists aren’t cheap. Anyone that arrives in your inbox selling a cheap list that sounds exactly like what you need might be just a waste of your time and money. Make sure your sample list has good-fit contacts/customers and contains fields that indicate ICP- & persona-fit and any relevant indicators of intent.
How do I purchase a marketing list?
To buy a marketing list, you must find a list provider, such as Kalungi, which focuses on curating and building custom B2B lists.
Now, to ensure that you follow a good process and guarantee the success of your marketing and sales efforts, here are tips and steps to follow when purchasing:
Understand your ideal customer profile (ICP)
When it comes to purchasing a marketing list, you must understand your ideal customer profile. When you create a detailed ICP that includes demographic, geographic, and technographic information, signals, and more, you can identify the right accounts to target with marketing and sales efforts and increase your chances of success.
However, if you’re getting started on a new market and you just have assumptions of what your ideal customer would look like, meaning that you know your solution solves certain problems in a market you haven’t yet acquired, those hypotheses are also valuable so you can start testing the waters and obtain feedback from the market as soon as possible.
Create your B2B SaaS ideal customer profile with our free template.
Understand your target personas
Understanding your target personas is crucial when purchasing a B2B marketing list. Creating a list based on your target personas and their specific needs and interests can increase engagement and conversions and drive business growth.
For SaaS companies, a proven approach to T2D3 is to segment your audience into three personas. P1 (the user), P2 (the supervisor), and P3 (the executive). By doing this that way, you ensure you cover the most important influencers and stakeholders of the areas where your solution is relevant and better your chances of success.
Also, remember that regularly updating and refining your target personas is also important, as the B2B landscape is constantly evolving, and your marketing efforts need to remain relevant to your target audience.
Find a list of providers
Either you choose to work with a list or database provider. It is always a good idea to contact different options to see which provides a better output that aligns with your needs and goals.
Request a sample list
When you evaluate vendors, try to catch some of the good signals I described above before purchasing. It is crucial to request a sample list of companies and contacts. Ask where they get the data from and try to validate that the information on the sample list is accurate and updated by comparing the information on the lists on the company websites or LinkedIn.
Purchasing a high-quality B2B marketing list is a valuable investment for businesses looking to streamline lead-generation efforts. It's crucial to research and identify a reputable provider who can deliver the right contacts and companies tailored to your needs, goals, and ICP.
If you're looking to buy a marketing list, start by understanding your ideal customer profile and identifying a list provider with a good reputation who takes the time to understand your goals and offers a small sample list before committing to payment.
At Kalungi, we specialize in B2B marketing lists and can provide customized, high-quality lists that fit your needs. Contact us today to learn more and take the first step towards creating your ICP high-quality list and ultimately driving business growth.
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With several years of experience as a manager, Gabriela is constantly learning the best marketing strategies and techniques in today’s marketing methodologies for the SaaS industry from Kalungi’s mentors.