The art of accurate marketing data management
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
In today’s world of marketing, data, and we’re mainly talking prospect contact data here, is a key tool to use – so long as it’s accurate! So many companies become fixated on building up large databases of prospects but if the data is not correct, any work you do with it becomes worthless.
Less is often more
It’s a phrase that I often find myself using, but it’s so true. Personally, I would much rather have a smaller collection of data that was up to date and accurate, rather than a large, messy and outdated mass of information to work from – but if that is you, all is not lost! Read on.
You might find yourself in a number of predicaments, the two most common of which are to have no data to work with in the first place and secondly, to have an excess of potentially outdated and poorly targeted data. I’m going to give you some brief advice on how to handle the latter of these frustrating situations.
Reining in the data pile
You might have been to shows over the years and picked up names and contact details of prospects or you might have run a promotion that delivered a mass of marketing data. Another scenario can be owning historical data from previous sales colleagues – perhaps purchased or gathered along the way.
First things first – assess what you actually have:
- Where is the data stored? Spreadsheet? CRM system?
- How often is it used? (mailing, phoning contacts or emailing)
- If using it, how effective are the results?
- Honestly, what percentage would you estimate to be up to date?
- What fields do you have to help with segmentation and filtering?
The most frequent scenario is to have a mass of marketing data that has not been used for some time and yet you know there are good contacts in there. If you can, filter the data by age first. Knowing your own industry, consider for how long unused data might still be valid and focus on the most recently acquired data first. That might be a year or a little longer. You might well be flogging a dead horse if the data is really old!
If you have fields that determine the data type, check for relevancy too and ditch anything that is not your main focus. If you don’t have such fields, create them as you need to be populating them. For a B2B list of prospects, this might include industry / market type, product interest or business size for example.
Don’t have emails? That’s going to be one to correct as you go forward so collate what you have and anticipate some work to fill in the gaps. If you do have emails, don’t assume that you can rely on an email platform to “clean” the data as they generally don’t like this. It can harm their own reputation as a sender and MailChimp in particular, uses artificial intelligence called Omnivore to ensure that this cannot happen.
Get on the phone
Once you’ve filtered your marketing data as best you can, you might be able to validate and develop it further using relevant industry directories or other such tools. But you cannot actually beat a phone call (if you have the phone number!)
Telemarketers are adept at swiftly working through marketing data to confirm, amend and update necessary fields. If Joe Blogs is no longer working for the company, let’s know about it and also be clear on the correct contact today.
A phone call can be put to good use too. It might be that you cleanse the data whilst also introducing a timely message from the company – a new product range or a promotion for example.
But unless you confidently have a telephone resource of sufficient size in-house, don’t bog yourself down with this work – telemarketers are likely to work much faster as they are used to doing just this and delivering the results.
Now use your marketing data!
Having invested the time and effort to tidy up your data, perhaps reducing it significantly in size but also enhancing the quality and field population greatly, use it! Whether by mail, phone or email, undertaking regular contact will ensure that it remains up to date and you can manage any changes along the way. Now you can be confident that your message is actually getting to the right people and you have a real opportunity to focus on the right data and convert prospects into valuable customers.
Needless to say that Cantaloupe can help you, should you wish to pay attention to your marketing data – whatever state it currently sits in! Just get in touch and we’ll see how we can help you.