Having high quality data is essential to the success of your marketing campaigns, sales and revenue. While every wise marketer knows this, many put off dealing with the progressive disease known as “data decay” until it has done real damage. To put the poison of poor data quality into perspective, place yourself in the following story:
The Age of Misinformation
Imagine your friend Bill hires an impressive marketing ops tech, named Ned. Bill is ecstatic to have won Ned over because all of the company’s competitors made offers to him, too. When he first introduces Ned to you, things appear to be going well. However, a few months pass and Bill invites you to join him for lunch. Before you go, he says he needs to stop by Ned’s desk to check on him because he is not answering emails. He finds Ned and introduces you, and you both remind Bill you met before. He brushes off the gaffe and asks Ned why he hasn’t responded to his emails. Ned politely reminds Bill that he recently divorced and changed his name, but that he updated his work account about the change weeks ago. Bill invites Ned to join you both for lunch. At lunch, you run into colleagues from another department. Bill introduces Ned to them by his old name and a wrong title. Two weeks later, Bill tells you that he is shocked to hear Ned left to take a job with the company’s top competitor. You aren’t shocked, though.
Settle the Score With Your Data
In the information age, it is critical that we not only get our information right, but keep it right. The only way to do this is to keep track of your data quality. The best way to accomplish this goal is via a customer data platform (CDP) that empowers you to perpetually review and score the quality of your sales and marketing data. After all, you can’t address the problem of dirty data until you know where the dirty data is hiding. Moreover, knowing your data quality score empowers you to:
- Leverage your database strengths and weaknesses
- Develop a plan to address issues
- Determine what data you need
- Set and achieve campaign goals with precision
Of course, there are loads of other reasons why you need to know the ranking of your data quality, five of which we have collected below.
1. Dirty Data Is a Customer Relationship Killer
If you re-read the previous story and change the role of Ned from employee to customer, you get a snapshot into how dirty data (misinformation) can wreck what should be a winning relationship. When people address you by the wrong name, title, etc. it is typically because the person just met you and doesn’t know you. However, if they continue to do those things after you have established a relationship with them, it signals that they are not listening and don’t care about you, which is particularly offensive if you have spent a lot of money with their company.
2. Dirty Data Gets Worse With Each Passing Moment.
Every last single contact in your database is subject to change. Gone are the days when people worked for the same company for 40 years. Recent research shows that the average person changes jobs 12 times in their career, spending less than five years at each job. Given that insight, it’s no wonder that each year:
- 33% of email address change
- 20% of postal addresses change
- 18% of telephone numbers change
- 21% of CEOs change
- 60% of people change job functions/titles
With so much change taking place each year, it’s easy to see now how nearly a third (30%) of the data inside the average company database is comprised of bad data.
3. Dirty Data Shortens the Customer Journey in a Bad Way
Research has found that on average 40 percent of leads contain inaccurate data. That’s nearly half of all the contacts in your database. What does it mean when almost half of your campaigns are burdened by wrong or missing data? Initially, it means poor campaign performance. Once the campaign is out there though, the ramifications of dirty data are a steady increase in customer churn. Every person that receives a marketing piece with their name misspelled, the wrong title, or multiple duplicate pieces addressed to five variant spellings of the same name will develop an impression of your company based on their experience — and it won’t be a positive one. What’s more, if your competitors are using high-scoring, top quality data, they will gain a competitive advantage — with your customers.
4. Dirty Data Wastes a Lot of Time, Money and Efforts
Companies that send campaigns without checking (scoring) data quality waste approximately 27 percent of sales and marketing employees’ time over the course of a year, which equals about 546 hours or $32,000. That’s not all the money that’s lost. Think about the printing and postage costs of all the campaigns pieces that go to the wrong address and subsequently land sight unseen in the garbage. Then, there are the missed opportunities and reputation damage that occur when your email campaigns go directly to spam, causing your company to land on the dreaded blacklists of known spammers flagged by Google, Microsoft, Apple, etc. Now imagine what you could do with the budget money you save when you eliminate dirty data from your database.
5. Dirty Data Is Ridiculously Easy to Fix.
Once you connect your database to a top quality CDP, you can set it to perpetually scan and correct all incoming data. You can have it manage the data standards you want to see established across all connected databases. You can enrich the data you have with integrated third party data and use the newly appended info to expand your campaigns to more channels. You can monitor your segment data in real time and calculate your total addressable market. Most importantly, you can automate all of these processes with lightning speed, and in doing so, score more leads, sales and revenue.