What "Tommy Boy" can teach us about dealing with Big Data Firms

CRM Hygiene
Data Hygiene
June 27, 2024

The 90's comedy classic "Tommy Boy" humorously explores themes of corporate greed and the American dream. The story follows Tommy Callahan, a lovable yet clumsy sales guy, as he embarks on a journey to save his late father's automotive parts business. Tommy faces off against Zalinsky Automotive, a corporate giant notorious for buying up competitors only to diminish the quality of their parts while keeping the brand intact.

As one of the most quotable movies of the past 30 years, "Tommy Boy" provides a perfect backdrop for discussing the modern data landscape. Inspired by Tommy's quest, we at LeadGenius recently conducted a data audit for a Fortune 100 enterprise customer. Join us as we use some of the film's most memorable quotes and characters to highlight our findings and the importance of high-quality data while examining the value of a well-know publicly traded data company we will call "Big Data".

The Fancy Guarantee on a Box

In the the film, Chris Farley's character, Tommy, brilliantly exposes the truth behind flashy guarantees with his memorable line:

"Why would somebody put a guarantee on a box? Here's the way I see it, Ted. Guy puts a fancy guarantee on a box 'cause he wants you to feel all warm and toasty inside... But how do you know the fairy isn't a crazy glue sniffer? ... Because they know all they sold ya was a guaranteed piece of shit."

This hilarious yet insightful scene perfectly encapsulates the current landscape of data providers. Major players in the industry have sold everyone on the promise of high-quality data, much like Tommy’s "fancy guarantee on a box." However, our recent audit of their data reveals a starkly different reality.

The Problem: Diminished Quality in Big Data

Just like Zalinsky Automotive, Big Data seems to offer shiny guarantees on the surface, but the underlying quality was lacking. For one Fortune 100 company, the disillusionment with the perceived quality of this well-know publicly traded data company became a catalyst for change. Their sales and marketing teams were facing challenges with data accuracy, deliverability, and overall reliability. This, combined with Big Data's increasing prices, prompted them to seek an alternative solution.

The core issue with maintaining large prebuilt databases, like those offered by Big Data, is that the pursuit of profit often leads to a squeeze on either quality or price. As these databases grow, the costs associated with keeping them accurate and up-to-date also rise. To maintain profit margins, companies might cut corners on data validation and updating processes, leading to a decline in quality. Alternatively, they might pass these increasing costs onto customers through higher prices.

Customers are feeling the impacts of these profit-driven compromises. The Fortune 100 company, for instance, faced numerous issues:

  • Data Accuracy: The data they received was riddled with inaccuracies, leading to wasted efforts and resources as their teams chased down incorrect leads.
  • Deliverability: A significant portion of the contact information was undeliverable, resulting in low email campaign effectiveness and poor outreach outcomes.
  • Reliability: The overall reliability of the data was compromised, making it difficult for sales and marketing teams to trust the information and plan their strategies effectively.

Additionally, many customers are trapped in auto-renewal contracts with these data providers, locking them into paying for subpar data year after year. If the company chose not to renew, they had to conduct a costly data purge of all of Big Data's records in their system. The rising costs, combined with the declining quality, leave businesses frustrated and their return on investment diminished, especially with the required purge of information. This unsustainable model pushes companies to seek more reliable and cost-effective solutions.

Recognizing these issues, the Fortune 100 company turned to LeadGenius for help. They needed a data partner who prioritized quality and transparency over flashy guarantees, and who could provide real-time validation and bespoke solutions tailored to their specific needs.

You can get a good look at a T-Bone...

To understand the severity of the data quality issues, LeadGenius conducted a thorough audit of 5,000 US records and 1,000 EMEA records from Big Data's dataset. The findings were as alarming as getting a good look at a T-Bone:

  • Accuracy and Deliverability: Out of the 5,000 US records, only 2,713 had accurate data and working emails. This means that nearly half of the records were either inaccurate or had undeliverable emails.
  • Employment Status: Over 9% of the reviewed records were no longer employed by the company listed, leading to wasted efforts and resources by the sales team.
  • Invalid Contact Information: More than 18% of the leads had invalid contact information, further exacerbating the issue of ineffective outreach.

The Deception of Auto Renewals and Price Increases

In addition to qualify, one rising concern with Big Data is their deceptive practice of auto-renewals. Many companies, found themselves locked into contracts without being fully aware of the declining quality of data they were receiving. Despite the rising costs, the quality of Big Data's info was falling, leading to frustration and diminished ROI for their clients. This coupled with legal demand from Big Data to purge all records from a company's data systems (CRM/MAS) at the time of non-renewal leaves many companies feeling trapped and locked in.

The LeadGenius Solution: Real-Time Data Validation

LeadGenius offered a compelling alternative with real-time validation of data and a commitment to quality that ensured confidence and reliability. Here’s how LeadGenius transformed the company's data strategy:

  • Real-Time Data Validation: LeadGenius provides continuous real-time validation of contact information, ensuring that data is always up-to-date and accurate. This reduces the risk of encountering outdated or incorrect information.
  • Timestamped Data: Each data point comes with a timestamp, providing transparency and assurance that the information is current. This feature was particularly valuable to the Fortune 100 company, as it allowed them to trust the data they were working with.
  • Custom Data Solutions: Unlike the one-size-fits-all approach of many data providers, LeadGenius offers bespoke data solutions tailored to the specific needs of each client. This personalized approach ensures that clients receive the most relevant and accurate data for their unique business requirements.
  • Complete Ownership: An added perk of working with a Data Service lIke LeadGenius is true ownership. Not only is data built on demand based on customer specific instructions, the data is 100% the IP of said customer, and is not leveraged at time of renewal.

The Results: Enhanced Data Quality and Business Performance

By partnering with LeadGenius, the Fortune 100 company saw a dramatic improvement in their data quality and overall business performance:

  • Increased Accuracy: The real-time validation and timestamping features ensured that their contact data was always accurate and up-to-date.
  • Improved Efficiency: With reliable data, their sales and marketing teams could focus on high-value targets, leading to more effective outreach and higher conversion rates.
  • Cost Savings: The company avoided the pitfalls of auto-renewals and rising costs associated with Big Data, achieving better ROI with LeadGenius's data solutions.
  • Configuration: Data sets can be delivered in any format and using customer defined picklists or industry specific terminology.

Final Thoughts: By a Fat Guy in a Little Coat

Just like Tommy Callahan proved that not all guarantees are created equal, the experience of this Fortune 100 company underscores the critical importance of high-quality, reliable data in today's competitive business environment. By switching from Big Data to LeadGenius, they were able to overcome the challenges of poor data quality, deceptive auto-renewals, and rising costs while building a data strategy that reflected their unique value to prospects in a crowded market. LeadGenius's real-time data validation and bespoke solutions provided the accuracy, reliability, and confidence they needed to drive their sales and marketing efforts forward. Custom data points provided only by LeadGenius allowed for nuanced segmentation and personalization on scale including eCommerce related data points dealing with average cart and product categorization.

If your company is facing similar challenges with data quality, consider partnering with LeadGenius. Our commitment to real-time data validation and custom solutions can help you achieve the accuracy and confidence you need to succeed. Contact us today to learn more about how we can transform your data strategy.

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