As marketers rely more on data for strategic initiatives, many are focusing on the volume of information the house. The belief has been that the more data available, the more insights a company can make. But, the amount of information is not the most important aspect of a database.
It is extremely important to take steps to ensure the quality of information. Data needs to be fit for its desired purpose and inaccurate information will yield poor insights and hurt the customer experience. Without accurate information, marketers will be left unable to truly become data-driven.
According to CRM Search, data quality has only become more important over time. Business technology expert Rick Cook says that advanced marketing strategies require it.
“As marketing becomes more focused, pervasive and customer-centric, and as campaigns become more sophisticated in using more intelligent data points, it becomes more critical than ever to leverage clean, complete and accurate data in order to achieve successful results,” Cook explained.
So what can you do?
Marketers need to look to implement data best practices. There are five key areas that marketers should look to improve upon to ensure quality information for marketing efforts.
1. Validate any existing information
There are basic software tools available to check the validity of information. Marketers should take steps to identify inaccurate information and then make any corrections possible. If information cannot be updated automatically, marketers should find other channels to communicate with customers or look to update information directly with the customer.
2. Verify data upon entry
Today information is utilized almost as soon as it is entered for loyalty offers or marketing follow-up. Therefore, it is important to check the validity of information as it is being entered. Software tools can be put in place at collection points to verify structured customer information, such as email address, mailing address and telephone number. This standardized and validated information allows for improved account consolidation, which is crucial to cross-channel marketing efforts. By validating information, organizations can prevent inaccurate data and ensure that communications reach the consumer.
3. Remove duplicates
Utilize software to identify duplicates and remove the possibility of human error. This should be done across all sources of data to ensure a single record for each customer. Once potential duplicates are found, a golden record can be identified and all information can fall within that record.
4. Check the database on a regular basis
Even with validated data, duplicates will occur and information will expire. Stakeholders should be sure to check the database on a regular interval to ensure not duplicates have been created and flag any outdated customer information.
5. Review data management processes annually
Data management and information requirements change constantly across an organization. To ensure that data is fit for purpose and can be used in the desired way, review data management practices annually and identify new ways that information is being utilized or processes that may not be fulfilling their purpose based on benchmark data.
Data is vital to any company’s marketing campaign, but only if it’s good, clean data. Your company should be sure that it’s taking the appropriate steps to maintain high standards of quality. For more information on improving your data quality, download the State of Data Quality report.