A customer / fellow Funnel Fiend recently sent me a link to an article by John Gibbs discussing the effect of a recessed economy on the funnel. You can read it here https://marketingexecutives.biz/The-Waning-Marketing-Funnel

His basic argument is that during the downturn, many people on your list have moved on – more than usual. One of the solutions posed of course is to outsource your list.

If normal tenure of a contact on your target list is 3 years, then you can be assured that every year 33% of your list is wrong. 3% a month. If you are selling to the C-suite, then they turn every 2 years, so your list is 1% wrong every week! What John is highlighting is that in a downturn, these numbers lift.

Under these circumstances, why would you ever maintain an in-house list?

Businesses with very tight target markets can, and often should. If your market doesn’t have a list managed by an external provider, then you may have no choice. But as a general rule, it is better to pay a list provider to manage list currency on behalf of you and the 1000 other marketers who want to know who fills the roles in your target companies.

There’s another spin on this though. Declared bias – I’m about to discuss a client of ours here. Reachforce out of Austin Texas build custom lists, in a model they call ‘roll-based’. Essentially, you give them the names of the target companies and they find out who fills the key roles. Much more expensive than ‘names-r-us’, but 100% accurate, timely, and often it is role, not title you want.

Rather than “who is the CTO?” think ‘”who has responsibility for the disk farm?” and you realise this differs company by company. that’s why hand-built lists make sense. How about twisting this just a little: “who is worried about our exposure to lost data” and you get a different person all together. I’d argue that’s the one you want.

Not everyone can afford hand-built lists, but it’s worth considering.