To be a marketing mastermind, you need quality data

Data has become a focal point of all marketing efforts. In fact, According to The 2014 Digital Marketer: Benchmark and Trend Report, 93 percent of organizations think data is essential to their marketing success.


Data enables marketers to create a more personalized experience and connect with the consumer in an ever-increasing digital world. With improved insight, marketers can create more sophisticated and targeted messages to individual consumers. Heightened insight also enables better coordination across channels.

However, while many marketers are working more with data, they still struggle with accessing meaningful and actionable insights according to a recent Experian Data Quality study. While 87 percent of companies engage in cross-channel marketing, 84 percent face a challenge in this area of their operation. The biggest challenges to engaging in cross-channel marketing are having accurate information and having enough information.

The reason is that many organizations suffer from a high degree of inaccurate data. The majority of organizations suspect that their contact data is inaccurate in some way. On average, global organizations believe 22 percent of their data is wrong, which is up 5 percent from just a year ago. In the U.S., organizations believe that a quarter of their data is inaccurate.

This high level of inaccurate information is brought about by a high level of human error. Thinking about how information is entered across the organization, in many instances it is typed into a database at some point manually, by an employee or the customer directly. That exposes information to different levels of standardization, abbreviations and errors.

In addition, many organizations have a highly segmented approach to data management. While the majority of organizations have some strategy around data quality, only one third manage their data quality strategy centrally, through a single director. That means 66 percent of companies lack a coherent, centralized approach. Most have little centralization and manage data quality by individual department.

While many marketers are working with first-party information from around the organization and using it to append additional third party insight, many have little control over the quality of the information they are utilizing.

With the high degree of inaccuracy, it is creating difficulty in finding meaningful insights that allow marketers to be more targeted.

Data quality is the foundation for any data-driven activity, including cross-channel marketing. Without accurate information at the core, organization cannot expect to deliver intelligent interactions.

While some ad-hoc cleansing on a wide scale can be helpful, it is only somewhat effective for traditional, long-term batch-and-blast type campaigns. The speed at which marketers are using information and at which the customer is interacting with organizations no longer makes bulk cleansing on an in-frequent basis effective.

For marketers to really take advantage of data insights, information needs to be accurate, consolidated and accessible in real time. That means that a centralized organization-wide data management strategy is essential for marketing success.

While this is not something marketers can completely control, they do need to become a key stakeholder in data management and help drive change within the organization. Team up with the CIO and other departmental stakeholders to put a consistent data management process in place.

For marketers to succeed in today’s marketing environment, they need to have accurate information that allows them to gain consumer insight. Ensure your data is accurate and up to the task. For more on data quality and cross-channel marketing, download The 2014 Digital Marketer Report.