Organic Data Acquisition

Jacqueline Davis

Today’s marketer must be smart and savvy to connect with right audience.  Buzz words like predictive, programmatic, experiential, and big data are on every marketers mind when building an engagement strategy slated to deliver X amount of opportunities.  So, how does a marketer ensure they are reaching the right audience?

Data acquisition is something that we as marketers cherish.  They are contacts that have either filled out a form, come from a purchased list, or have provided their profile information via phone verification.

So… how do marketers acquire as many organic contacts as possible? Let’s take a look at 2 primary types of data acquisition.

Organic Data Acquisition

Once you have the attention of the right audience,  you need a way to bring these organically engaged contacts into your marketing system (usually a marketing automation system).  To do this, you use one or both of these approaches below:

  • Form fills
  • Progressive profiling


Forms are intended to gate high value content where the content owner expects prospects information in return for the collateral.  “Contact-us” is another type of form that is commonly used on company websites to provide access directly to sales.  There is an ongoing debate regarding the ideal number of fields a form should have.  Our success has always been with 4 or 5 fields max and then we leverage backend scripts and IP to append things like country, lead source and medium.  A good concise form looks something like this:


Progressive profiling, for those not so familiar, is a way of gathering contact information over multiple visits.  The key to gaining this profile insight is high traffic and return visitors to the site you are promoting.  This can be a hit or miss way to gather contact information.  Although your profile questions may be 1 or 2 at a time and can offer tremendous insight into the prospects propensity to buy, it isn’t productive for short sales cycles or where you don’t have a ton of repeat traffic to your website.

The below, is a simple concept of progressive profiling and the questions you may ask at each return visit.

Strategic Data Acquisition

Organic data is great and offers you information about the people who are naturally responding to your messaging.  That said organic data acquisition is slow and messy because of the various forms in which the data arrives at the top of the funnel, not to mention the contacts you acquire are not guaranteed to be your target profiles.

That’s where strategic data acquisition can help.

The approach to strategic data acquisition is such that you only acquire the contacts that match your persona profiles.  By calling into accounts and building out contact profiles you are guaranteed to generate a list that is highly targeted and strategically aligned to your companies messaging.   When a strategic contact is acquired, you not only get the most complete and accurate profile of a contact, but also their opt-in permission to continue an online dialogue with them. 

In addition, not only is the record accurate but it is also comprehensive, providing specific details that can assist marketing long term.  For example, by engaging with the target contact on the phone you can prequalify their interests, get information on groups or communities they learn from and perhaps some social addresses that may be important to the overall digital engagement part of your campaign.

Strategic Data looks something like this:

When you acquire contact information like this it becomes valuable in many ways.
For example:

  1. There is an opportunity to identify a lead or a warm interest by understanding the current projects they are involved in.
  2. You can now communicate to them via multiple channels and not just phone or email.
  3. You have a key understanding of their role with in the buying cycle.
  4. You now know where you should focus some of your online promotion and the type of content that you should position.

Of course, strategic data acquisition comes at a cost but the return of investment is 10-fold.  The value you can leverage will help you bridge your relationship gap with sales.  In return, it will help you generate better qualified leads that ultimately improve your overall lead conversion.  This makes sales and management happy.

Data Acquisition is a tough assignment with many moving parts and it isn’t an easy 1-2-3 step towards enlighten engagement with your prospects.  It is, however, critical to the overall success of a campaign and pipeline development.  Without it you will spin your wheels to meet the expectations of sales and new business growth will stagnate.

Whatever your approach, be mindful of the quality and focus on ensuring accuracy of the data so that you are as effective as possible in executing your campaigns.  This is your pipeline gateway.

For more information, please contact the Data Reef team below or schedule a consultation with the form on the right!

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