As the economy bounces back and the glazing industry picks up, companies are once again investing in marketing.

Identifying and targeting the right prospects is absolutely essential – even the most brilliant marketing campaign will flop if it isn’t connecting with the right decision makers.

You may have heard the computer expression GIGO: Garbage In, Garbage Out. No matter how advanced your computer system, the output will only ever be as good as the information you put in.

The same principle applies to marketing – use second rate data, and you’ll have a second rate marketing campaign.

Many companies still make the mistake of thinking ‘data is data’.  It really isn’t, and as any true marketing expert will know, using the right database can increase leads, revenue and profit.

Zach Ward, sales manager at Insight Data, the specialist market research and data supplier for the glazing and building industry, explains why investment makes all the difference between a second-rate database and one that generates extraordinary results.


“Buying a database can be a lottery, since you don’t really know how effective the data is until you are using it. The acid test is the investment the data company makes in managing their database. Some companies for example simply have one or two telephone staff who update a basic database.  Not only is this prone to numerous errors, it also means many records can be left for years if the researcher can’t get hold of them.

At Insight Data we recognised this problem early on – we built a call centre that makes 20,000 calls per month, but we realised telephone updates alone weren’t enough.  So we invested over £250,000 in a very sophisticated software platform that uses 7 different methods of updating information in real-time. For example, it has an integrated XML feed from a credit reference agency that identifies companies on our database that have gone bust, moved or changed directors.  Another system feeds-in new company formations and start-ups.

In 2012 we introduced ‘closed loop’ returns.  We test our entire email database on average every 14 days and bounce-backs are fed directly back into our software for immediate updating. A similar process exists for direct mail ‘returns’. As a result, our deliverability rate is 98% by email and 99.7% by post.

The software constantly analyses the database, determining which records should be contacted by our research team, and what information to collect, while calls are recorded and used for training and improvement.

Direct Marketing Association

To some people these steps may seem a little ‘over kill’ – during a recent audit by the Direct Marketing Association the assessors stated that Insight Data had the most accurate data they had ever seen. But to us it is really simple – without quality data, all your marketing efforts will be diluted.

Next time you’re tempted to buy a cheap data list or subscribe to a budget database, think carefully. The investment the data provider makes in their business will have a direct effect on your future success.

For more information on the range of Insight databases, which includes fabricators, installers, glass companies, general builders, architects and construction companies, contact Zach Ward on 01934 808293 or visit