Better Quality Data Is Key To Marketing Success

Cleansing your marketing data can help to improve your marketing campaigns, increase your return on investment and boost customer loyalty and retention.

A lot is being made about so-called ‘big data’ and its ability to revolutionise the marketing industry. However, while big data certainly has marketing potential, businesses first need to pay attention to improving the quality of their current data before chasing this new opportunity.

Common Problems

While most businesses around the globe use data to meet their business objectives, the quality of the data used is a big issue for many of those companies. Less than half of the companies included in Experian’s annual benchmark report trust the data they hold, and a recent survey of B2B marketing data in the USA’s technology industry found a 40% fail rate.

When it comes to data quality, there are three main problems – duplicate data, incomplete data and out-of-date or incorrect data.

Duplicate data, where a contact appears more than once on a database, is an extremely common problem and often occurs due to poor formatting or unclear data entry procedures. As well as making you look unprofessional, it can also be very irritating for customers as they receive the same information twice (or maybe more!) and usually end up unsubscribing from your communications altogether.

Incomplete data is another big frustration for companies. Missing fields such as job titles, company size and regional data can make it difficult to accurately sort and target your contacts. As a result, your marketing campaign is likely to be much less effective than it otherwise would be.

If your data is incorrect or out of date it’s likely that your carefully crafted marketing campaign will never reach its intended target, resulting in a poor return on investment. Even worse, in some cases – for example, if you have somebody listed as the wrong gender, or if you send materials to somebody who is deceased – you could risk offending and alienating the very people you are trying to engage.

The Impact Of Poor Data

The impact of poor data can be significant and is considered by experts to be the ‘silent killer’ of many marketing campaigns. This, unsurprisingly, can have a knock-on impact, with UK businesses on average suffering a six percent fall in annual revenue as a result of bad quality data.

Poor data can be an irritation and an inconvenience to existing and potential customers and impacts negatively on customer trust and loyalty. Retaining customers is much more cost-effective than winning new ones, and holding more accurate and comprehensive data is key to driving more targeted and effective marketing and, ultimately, improving the overall customer experience.

Improving Your Data

Poor quality data is bad for business, but how do you go about improving it? You can do it in-house but, depending on the amount of information you hold, this can be a mammoth task, and as well as taking up a lot of resources also runs the risk of introducing additional human error. There are also software tools available for data cleansing, but these are not perfect and will still require some work on your part. Another option is to use the services of a data-cleansing company. Data cleansing companies are specialists in this area and will be able to take most of the load off your shoulders.

Long Term Commitment

Whatever route you decide to take, improving your marketing data is not a quick fix. While a data cleansing company can help to solve the initial problem, a long-term, company-wide commitment to accurately capturing and maintaining data is required to ensure that fewer errors occur in the future. That way you can be confident that your digital marketing agency is reaching the right people and achieving a good return on investment for the business.