Five quick tips for cleaner customer data and improved marketing campaigns

May 28, 2013 by Experian Marketing Services

Clean data is essential for effective marketing campaign delivery and success. Implementing a process for incoming customer contact data such as email addresses, physical addresses and phone numbers can substantially improve incremental marketing ROI. In fact, it’s critical to prevent bad addresses or duplicate data from entering your database if you want to improve marketing conversion rates and campaign performance. Here are a few ideas:

Tip 1: Define your data quality project plan

It is important to understand where most data quality errors occur. Marketers should ask themselves:

  • Which channels are responsible for accepting bad or incorrect information?
  • Can quick changes help to reduce bad data collection?

Identify where incorrect data occurs to understand where to focus efforts and develop a project plan.

Remember, deploying a comprehensive data quality strategy will impact many departments within an organization. When gaining departmental buy-in, emphasize cost savings and better intelligence to help obtain executive support.

Tip 2: Standardize contact data at the point of entry

Consider validating important data as it is being captured, at the point of entry. This ensures that all information is formatted the same way when it enters your database. This will make it easier to identify duplicates.

Tip 3: Validate data accuracy

It’s important to validate the accuracy of data collected, either at the point of entry, in real time, or by scrubbing data already existing in your database. Tools exist, like address verification software, which can clean information, like list imports or information provided by third parties, in batches.

Tip 4: Identify duplicates

Utilize tools that incorporate fuzzy matching technology to effectively identify duplicates. This will help to reduce the time required to identify duplicates. Determine criteria and processes when duplicates are identified. Consider what the process is for identifying a master record and how to treat the duplicate data.

Tip 5: Append data

Once your data has been standardized, validated and scrubbed for duplicates, append your contact data from reliable third party sources. Accurate firmographic or demographic data can help to provide more complete information for business intelligence and analytics. That will help you  send more targeted and relevant communications to customers and prospects.

Always remember that many measures can be taken to improve marketing data quality. While data quality initiatives can occur at any point, opportune times for considering data quality include data migrations, system upgrades, and marketing and customer loyalty initiatives. In addition, incremental improvements or cost savings efforts are also opportunities for data improvement.