Data management can seem terrifying, but once you know how it’ll prove invaluable to your results. Here are our top tips.
Have you ever received an email addressed to %FirstName %LastName? Or have you accidentally sent one? Yes it’s embarrassing, but sadly it’s a mistake that’s all too common in the marketing world.
The good news is there’s still hope for your decaying data! Help is at hand – follow our data management tips:
Gone are the days where we only have one database. In a world where there is so much marketing technology available, every marketer has multiple data collection points and systems to deal with. A simple step, like standardising naming conventions (name, first name, surname, last name, full name…) can make a huge difference to your data quality and help to keep it in order once you’ve sorted it out. By developing, applying and sharing naming conventions with everyone who adds data to all of your systems and data houses, you can ensure that your communications are sent to the right people and that you’re going to call them by the right name. This doesn’t only apply to contact names, job titles and industries but also to your marketing campaign titles so you can instantly see what a contact has been sent.
- Creating guidelines and validation rules for data capture ensures that everyone follows the same rules.
- Pre-populated form fields can really make a difference to data quality.
By having validation processes in place for data that is fed in automatically from web forms you can beat any fakes and ensure that they don’t slip back in.
Don’t let your data go out of date
Vigilance is the name of the game in keeping databases healthy and delivering value. Business databases decay at a rate of over 40% a year, so it’s vital that you keep your data in good health by getting it checked regularly.
Regular checks and culls of your lists can weed out the ignorers and the fakers and ensure that you’re communicating with the people that are more likely to engage. Between 10% and 25% of B2B marketing databases contain critical errors – don’t let yours be one of them!
Keep data management regular
Once you’ve gone through the painful process of cleaning up the database, keeping on top of it is imperative. Although it seems like a job that can always wait, if you do it monthly you really will see a transformation in your campaign results. Research by SiriusDecisions has shown that the amount of data held in B2B organisations’ databases typically doubles every year. For most companies, that’s going to mean several hundred new contacts every month.
Unfortunately, in most organisations, everyone thinks that database management is someone else’s job. The 2012 Data Quality Insight survey, which researched 291 businesses, revealed that no fewer than 10 different job titles in these organisations, ranging from the CEO to the Customer Admin Manager, were responsible for data quality.
So it’s not surprising that data quality is high on the list of concerns for today’s marketing professionals. As the report summed the situation up: “Who is responsible for data quality? Notionally, “everyone” equals in “no-one”.
When deciding who to target, don’t leave it to the intern – task the person who has real insight into your company’s business objectives. Reaching the right decision makers within the right companies is vital for your company’s marketing efforts – yet delving into the data to find them is often a forgotten job. Make sure that someone within your company is responsible for database management.