As a marketer, there is nothing more aggravating than launching a campaign that you have been working on only to get bounce backs rolling into your inbox, or even more embarrassing, a pile of direct mail returned straight to your desk. Sadly these events are more common place than we want to admit, but they don’t have to be.
Every year marketers across the world waste millions of dollars because of poor data. Poor data can not only impact your company’s bottom line, but it can also devastate your brand’s image.
Throwing away money
For the amount of money that marketing departments spend on CRMs you would think that we would have the ultimate golden record of our customers. Shamefully, most organizations don’t have accurate customer data. But many organizations operate in silos, with each department managing their own data in various systems that don’t necessarily sync to one another. In this environment, it’s easy to identify the problem and understand how poor data can sneak its way in.
There are so many entry points for customer data to get into your organization – but are you governing it?
Data can be collected from your website, email, sales team, call center, e-commerce sites, support, and more. Without proper data governance measures in place, your siloed ERPs, CRMs, marketing automation platforms, and customer support platforms can easily be riled with duplicate, incomplete, inaccurate, or outdated information on your customers. As a customer, there is nothing more frustrating then being called the wrong name or being sent multiple versions of the same catalog. Or even worse, having to repeatedly explain to a customer service representative your five-minute long story, all due to poor customer data management.
Multichannel user experience
One of the most promising trends in marketing right now is individualized multichannel user experiences and product offerings. The ability to target customers and prospects both offline and then online through various devices and sites with tailored messaging based on their behavior and unique profile is a marketer’s dream. When executed properly, these targeted, individualized approaches achieve greater returns than more traditional broad or “shotgun” marketing approaches.
However this is where most companies fail. For these complex individualized campaigns to work, they must be built on a foundation of accurate and up-to-date customer data.
If your enterprise suffers from poor data quality, you need to address that first.
3 Steps to Jump Start your Customer Data Quality
1. Put a team in place
In large enterprises, you’ll need a Chief Data Officer or CTO to manage this task. That person will act as the project manager working with a team of Data Stewards who are ready to address your data Quality issues.
2. Identify the Issue
You need to identify where the data quality issue is coming from in order to stop the bleeding.
One obvious indicator of a data quality issue is too many bounced emails. Are you receiving a lot of returned mail? That could mean you have an address validation issue. More complex issues can also arise if your company has gone through any acquisitions or mergers or if you have several data quality issues spread across many different departments and systems.
3. Fix the Problem at the Source
Now that you have identified the issues, it’s time to fix them. At the very least, you’re going to want a system that can provide address validation (email and physical), can identify duplicate records through matching and linking, and possibly even enrich your data through reputable data sources like Dun & Bradstreet or Experian.
Empowered by Quality Data
Once you have addressed your data quality issue, you can confidently market to your customers and reap the rewards of excellent customer data. By improving your data quality, you empower your team to start planning individualized user experiences for your customers which can lead to more sales from increased upsell/cross-sell opportunities. You might also notice extra money in your budget because you are not sending out wasteful, duplicate mailings to the same contacts or to the wrong address.
As marketers, we always want to engage the right person with the right message. When you make data quality a priority, you can be confident that you are addressing the right person, now as for the getting the message right, that is still up to you.