Data, Data Driven Marketing

Case Study: The Value of Customized Data

Due to privacy concerns, the client this case study was written about will be referred to as Company XYZ.


Company XYZ is a merchant services company. They provide equipment and services for credit card and e-commerce payment processing to both large and small businesses. Their national reach includes a 300-employee call center and data records of approximately 15 million businesses. Rather than in-house sales reps, their business model employs independent contractors throughout the U.S. to sell their services.

The Problem

While Company XYZ’s contractor-based business model is cost beneficial, it limits the qualified leads for their sales reps to contact. To obtain leads, Company XYZ has employed the services of data companies. However, they have found that most data companies are more willing to provide mass amounts of data, but they are unwilling to allow for customizations to the data. Not only did this incur a greater cost than was necessary, but Company XYZ’s nationwide sales force is not robust enough to sift through large numbers of unqualified leads. The “our way or the highway” approach of the data providers Company XYZ worked with in the past provided unsatisfactory service, unspecialized leads, and the need to find a better solution.

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Our Solution

ANS has been working with companies like Company XYZ for almost twenty years. As we have grown and developed more efficient systems and larger databases, we have retained our focus on providing data tailored to customer needs. Unlike Company XYZ’s previous data providers, ANS proposed a specialized approach that included three key factors: (1) we use SIC codes to customize the data to Company XYZ’s specialty, (2) we use data that is updated weekly with brand new businesses, and (3) we provide only leads within the zip codes where Company XYZ has independent contractors.

SIC Code Customization

Like most merchant services companies, Company XYZ has a specific set of industries they specialize with. Unlike other data companies, ANS customizes the data we provide based on the SIC codes of their preferred business types. Receiving leads customized by SIC code saves Company XYZ money and improves lead conversion.

Hotline Business Registrations

If you were to look up public reviews for many merchant services companies, you would see a common trend. Individuals often complain about salespeople contacting them years after they have closed their business or have moved to other companies. This is the result of salespeople receiving data that is inaccurate and outdated. ANS is different because we provide the most accurate and current business data available. ANS’ data file, Hotline Business Registrations, is updated weekly with new businesses. Approximately 220-350 thousand businesses are created monthly in the U.S., and our database is updated weekly to include them. Additionally, these updates revise information for businesses that have moved locations. For Company XYZ, this means their sales reps are getting leads that are fresh and reliable, and being brand new businesses, these leads are prime candidates for contracting merchant services.

Location targeting by zip code

Perhaps most crucial to Company XYZ’s success was receiving data based on the zip codes where their salespeople are located. Their previous “data dumps” were ineffectual because the amount of data exceeded the personnel capacity and included cities not being worked by reps. The data they receive from ANS only includes zip codes where they have salespeople, saving Company XYZ time and money.

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While we are still waiting for concrete sales results from Company XYZ, their satisfaction literally speaks for itself. In receiving feedback from Company XYZ, they have said the data provided by ANS is the, “…best performing data we have.” Additionally, Company XYZ is now on a subscription-based service, receiving their data on regularly scheduled delivery dates. This high performance and satisfaction directly relate to ANS’ willingness to customize the data according to the customer’s needs—using SIC codes for specialized leads, only sending the most up-to-date data, and providing data based on the location of Company XYZ’s sales force.

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