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6 Metrics for Measuring Data Quality

Every marketing campaign begins and ends with data. Unfortunately, not all data is created equally. You have to have quality data to drive your campaigns. This is more important than you might think. One study found that sales departments lose around 550 hours per year from relying on bad data and that’s typically the same data marketers use.

So how do you measure data quality? We’re giving you six key metrics you can use to determine if your data is as good as it could be and how to make the measurement process a whole lot easier.

Reach

You’ve heard the term “marketability,” but have you really thought about what it means? In it’s simplest terms, it’s your reach. What markets, prospects, and customers are in your circle of influence and do you have a way of reaching them?

In order to understand your marketability, you need data. Many companies are lacking the data they need to effectively market to contacts and accounts across various channels. Even more common is to have the data in different applications, but it is untapped by marketing.

When it comes to marketing, the success of your outreach is dependent upon accurate contact information, including phone/mobile numbers, email addresses, physical addresses, social handles, etc. Do you have values in specific fields that are going to be leveraged as you do outreach for outbound marketing?

Validation

To measure data quality, you need to validate the data. Is it in the proper format so it can be used in a campaign? If not, you’re losing a lot of valuable insight, simply because it isn’t operationalized.

Email addresses are one of the more challenging data points that need to be validated because they can repeatedly change. In fact, one report shows up to 33 percent of email addresses are outdated every year. They can show up in all kinds of formats and some are spam email addresses, “do not reply” email addresses, or email addresses that go to a company info box but aren’t read by any decision-makers. Mobile, office, and business phone numbers often change, as do mailing addresses.

For many companies, it’s worth paying a third party to continually monitor these channels to ensure all are valid and in the proper format. They have the resources to not only complete the validation process relatively quickly but to repeat the practice automatically on an ongoing basis to give you confidence your contact data is as usable as possible.

Standardization

How many values do you have for your different types of data? If your data doesn’t adhere to a standard set of values, your data needs to improve if you want to use it for marketing purposes.

Jobs, titles, industries, and even country codes are more usable if they all follow the same format. For instance, you may miss a potential audience if you have non-standardized job titles. If some sales or marketing reps enter “Marketing Director” and others call the contact’s title “Director of Marketing”, you may miss one or the other when you begin to segment that title data as you go to market. This is particularly important as you personalize campaigns with dynamic content.

Understanding your standardization metric isn’t a one and done exercise, either. Every time someone inputs or changes data, it has to follow the standardized formats. The best way to do that is to set up your fields to require whatever format you decide is appropriate. Using templates forces standardization or the system may reformat the data automatically.

Total Addressable Market

Total addressable market (TAM) is a metric every marketer should know before launching any campaign. Also referred to as “look-alike modeling,” TAM is defined as the potential revenue opportunity for a new or modified product or service.

Understanding your TAM metrics enables you to know with greater certainty what percentage of accounts you have that you could be marketing to. In order to get calculate your true TAM, you have to have reliable or realistic data, but that’s sometimes easier said than done.

The TAM can be measured at the enterprise level but for the highest relevancy, consider measuring it at the segment level. If your TAM data is of quality, you should feel confident that all of the contacts and accounts in your database match the types of audiences you are going after. Similarly, if you have an enterprise account segment, you want to make sure you have the total enterprise accounts you could be marketing to and not just segment data.

Enrichment

Traditional methods will give you traditional data, but sometimes you want to enrich that data with more information. Personalized marketing campaigns are increasing in frequency, rendering basic contact and account information insufficient. In order to customize content and precisely target your audience, you may need the help of third parties and/or more sophisticated technology.

Consumers leave behind all kinds of valuable data as they search and purchase from the internet; post, like, and follow on social channels; and download apps. Buying habits, personal preferences, and more detailed household information can help marketers better personalize campaigns.

What is your ability to provide these enriched data elements to your data sets? Your answer is a good indication of the quality of your data.

Completeness

Finally, how complete is your data? Do you have as much relevant customer and account data you can get to know more about your customer and be able to appropriately segment your target market?

The more details you have, whether it be traditional information or enriched data, the greater your ability to personalize campaigns to get the attention of your market and boost revenue. Being able to measure the completeness of your data is an important practice to better understand where there are gaps and opportunities so you can continually improve your campaigns.

Leveraging Technology to Measure Data Quality

It’s not always easy to measure data quality. Companies often lack the manpower and data is so dispersed and dynamic, there’s no way to get control of the data through manual efforts anyway. Technology is coming to the rescue in helping marketers easily measure data quality. It’s giving companies unprecedented access to data they didn’t know they could have and providing insights they didn’t believe was possible. One-third of marketers believe this kind of technology is the most useful tool to understanding their customers.

The most critical piece of any software solution is its integration capabilities. Marketing data isn’t always confined to marketing applications. You need access to CRMs like Salesforce as well as your marketing apps like Marketo and Eloqua. When systems are integrated and talking to each other, the software can automatically and continuously pull in all kinds of data from across the enterprise to paint the most comprehensive picture possible.

The software does more than simply collect disparate data; it analyzes your marketing data to ensure it is quality data that powering your campaigns. It validates contact information in real-time and ensures it’s complete. It identifies your total addressable market and segments it for you. It reveals data trends and provides scoring metrics so you don’t have to wait on IT reports. It gives you instant visibility into the quality of each marketing segment.

In essence, this software makes your data actionable. Automatically. Perpetually. So you don’t have to do it manually and can rest assured you’re getting the whole picture.

David York
david@sureshot.io

David York has spent the last 15 years at the forefront of the martech revolution, and is an expert on its past, present and future.