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The Harte Hanks Blog

Analyze First, Buy Second: A Methodical Approach to Data Enrichment

By: Donna Belanger

Sources for Data Enrichment

You already know the important role that high quality data plays in your marketing campaigns. But do you know how to efficiently enrich your data? What data points do you need? What are the best sources for this information? And how do you measure data enrichment efforts? These are all great questions. The key is that there should be a systematic method to enrichment—and randomly throwing data at a problem is not the best approach.

Analyze First

To make the most out of informatics, you need to take a methodical approach of analyzing first, buying second. The strategy should begin with a basic data assessment, which includes examining your current business information and profiling it against a comprehensive contact database. Analyze the results to identify the key characteristics that best describe your customers (such as SIC, company size, turnover, number of sites, etc.). This insight allows you to focus on buying only the data elements that enrich your priority market segments.

After assessing the data you already own, the next step is to expand your prospect universe. Identify what we call “white space,” or areas where there is untapped opportunity, by overlaying prospect data with key customer attributes. This helps to find pockets within the white space that resemble the ideal customer, and these are the areas you should target with your prospecting efforts.

Buy Second

As you know, buying data is expensive, so it is important to focus spending where it will be most effective. Take a close look at your goals and objectives. What are your target markets? What size company makes for the most profitable engagements? Is there a particular geography where the company wants to expand? The answers to these questions will help determine what to purchase, and an experienced planning team can identify the best sources to optimize your investment. For example, if you are eager to expand with enterprise businesses in Latin America, some data sources will be more valuable than others; a good data planning team knows which sources to consider and can facilitate purchases that deliver value.

Measure Data Enrichment Success

Finally, make sure your data enrichment efforts are worthwhile. Through our approach, we analyze each record after the new information has been incorporated into your database in order to determine if it is a marketable record. Can the marketing team reach this prospect with an email campaign? Can a sales person make a visit? Make sure the data supports your campaign goals.

What does enrichment success look like? For every 1% in data quality improvement, marketing can generate 5-6% of incremental revenue.[1] Improving your data will also improve marketing efficiency, reducing the cost of staff overhead, analytics, postage, printing and more.


In summary, the best data enrichment strategy requires the following steps:

  1. Analyze your current data to know what you’re working with and where the opportunities are;
  2. Consider your goals and best opportunities to determine which data to buy from which sources;
  3. Analyze the new data for marketability to determine the success of your enrichment.

The most important thing to remember is that you should remediate and enrich your data in a way that is going to yield an improvement in sales—and this requires a strategy with a targeted acquisition process.

Check out our on-demand webinar to learn more about creating an effective data enrichment strategy: Maximize Marketing Effectiveness with Enriched Data.









[1] SiriusDecisions. “The Impact of Bad Data on Demand Creation.”


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