Where’s Dana? Fix your data and make your marketing more personal

October 10, 2014 by Erin Haselkorn

Today’s consumer expects a lot from us marketers. They want consistent communication, across all channels they use and with messages tailored to just their interests. This is accomplished through what’s known as personalization, or changing user interactions based on data, such as purchases, demographics or preferences.

Marketers see major opportunity for a whole new level of consumer engagement and more marketing-influenced revenue sources via personalization. In fact, three out of four organizations personalize their marketing messages or are in the process of doing so.

Bad data a challenge for personalization

In order to personalize messages and keep those consistent across channels, marketers need data. However, many lack an accurate, complete and accessible data file needed for such an initiative.

Ninety-four percent of companies experience challenges related to personalization. As a result, most companies are in the very early stages of a personalization strategy, relying more on a single channel, one-off strategy, or a reactive approach that happens across multiple channels without coordination. While this is certainly better than not personalizing any messages, marketers need to overcome these issues and become more sophisticated in their strategies.

Tackling the three key data problems

Organizations can better manage information and focus on collecting higher quality data by addressing the top three challenges related to personalization:

1)     Gaining better insight. On average, companies are operating with six different databases, making it challenging to obtain a single customer view. To alleviate this problem, marketers should work with IT and other departments to consolidate information into a single source.

2)     Having enough data. While a lot of first-party information is available, sometimes desired information can’t be obtained from the customer or the data available can be hard to manipulate. To fill this gap, 88 percent of companies purchase data sets from third parties. Appended information can add valuable insight to businesses, just be sure you are only appending information when it is needed and that it is limited to relevant data sets.

3)     Having accurate data. U.S. companies believe that on average a quarter of their information is inaccurate. Marketers should look to reduce this level of bad data by cleansing and standardizing existing information and then validating all incoming customer data.

While these challenges can make it difficult to leverage data for its intended purpose, by taking the time to invest in data quality solutions, marketers can get the insight needed to maximize customer engagement.

To find out more about how data quality affects personalization efforts, download our new white paper ‘Maximizing personalization’.