Admitting you have a data quality problem is the first step

Many organizations have a difficult time objectively looking at the quality of their data, then are surprised when their campaigns aren’t more effective.

When putting data into action within campaigns, marketers should start by ensuring they have an understanding of their organization’s data quality strategy. Doing so ensures more relevant messaging and timely delivery.

Recognizing the potential areas for data inaccuracy starts with looking at two key pieces in the data workflow.

1.  Data Collection Methods

Where and how data is collected plays a crucial role in its accuracy. Think about the potential problems when contact information is submitted through a hand-written paper form by a contact looking to win a raffle. They likely filled it out quickly, possibly with false information, and could have illegible handwriting. Now compare that to information collected from a digital scanner at a tradeshow booth, where accuracy is more or less assured.

Just as important as how data is submitted is who submits or collects it. Marketers should consider:

  • Is the individual motivated to ensure contact data quality?
  • Is it collected automatically online?
  • Is it purchased from a third party?

Knowing the ‘how’ and ‘where’ of your data collection process can positively affect data accuracy and reliability.

2.   Data cleansing methodology

After understanding the sources of your data, determine how you’ll clean the data to help ensure its accuracy. Data that is cleansed in real time, using software at the point-of-capture, can help eliminate errors from being entered into your database.

Having accurate information will help ensure duplicate records are caught and either merged to existing ones, or deleted. Understand that some data will change over time and also know the timing of data audits or updates. This will help you line up the timing of your marketing campaigns and know if additional data cleansing is needed before a program is launched.

An increasing number of complex, data-driven marketing campaigns are being developed by organizations. However, inaccurate data can lead to the wrong message, sent to the wrong person, resulting in an ineffective campaign and potential damage to your brand name.

Having the conversation about your organization’s data quality strategy will prevent assumptions from being made about your data accuracy and help you avoid spending time and resources on campaigns that are set up for failure from the very beginning.


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