Managing data is a complex affair that takes careful planning, insight, political savvy, and above all persistence in doing the right thing, every time, and without fail. If you think of data in terms of people — a logical leap considering that most data is comprised of information that describes individuals, and most data drama is born out of customer information breaches — then your role in data governance becomes crystal clear.
Hail to the Chief
You are the President, Commander in Chief, and ruling Head of State of your data. As the leader of this ever-expanding world, you must establish and protect your data’s boundaries and borders. You must devote your energy to promoting its wellbeing and preventing decay. You must care for it as if your company’s future depends on it, and it does.
To ignore the needs of your data is to risk a state of anarchy, degradation and ultimately chaos, which will (and should) result in your being impeached. Fortunately, we at Sureshot are committed to helping you stay in power by serving as your personal Data Intelligence Agency. In this blog, we’ll share the secrets of data governance and its close relationship with data quality, as well as how you can leverage both to remain a respected leader.
You Can Handle the Truth… About Data Governance
So, what exactly is data governance and how can you do it so well that your company nominates your presidential portrait to be used on the first-ever million-dollar bill? Data governance is simply the set of processes, policies, and standards that ensure your data is accurate, reliable, and secure. In essence, it’s the foundation upon which your marketing strategies are built. Data governance is your data’s moral compass, it’s integrity. Without data governance, your marketing efforts will be marred by the ill effects and embarrassing character flaws of bad data. Data that lives in a lawless world is aimless, wastes valuable resources, and results in missed opportunities.
Key Components of Data Governance
Data governance is how you ensure that the data that your team and company use to populate campaigns, interact with customers, close deals, make decisions, and perform projections with is clean, complete, consistent, current, and trustworthy. There are three key components of data governance and every last single one is deeply rooted in managing the quality of your data.
Key #1: Data Quality Management
Governing your data well requires you to have processes (ideally automated) and technologies in place that ensure your data embodies the five characteristics of high-quality data, which are:
- Complete: Data that’s missing key attributes hinders your ability to understand customers and prospects. It also prevents you from customizing communications effectively.
- Correct: Using inaccurate data leads to misunderstandings, irrelevant communications, and deeply unsatisfying customer relationships, a.k.a. churn.
- Current: Outdated data makes it impossible to address the current needs of customers and prospects. What’s more, it makes your company and its communications appear out of touch.
- Consistent: When data hasn’t been standardized and normalized, it leads to dreaded duplicates and confused messaging that damages your brand reputation and customer experience.
- Centralized: Data that’s spread across multiple systems without centralized control makes it impossible to get a unified view of prospects, or to send personalized communications.
Key #2: Data Privacy and Security
As your company’s most valuable asset, your data needs 24/7 state-of-the-art protection rooted in advanced technologies that detect and prevent threats before they occur. In addition, it is imperative that your data complies with the latest data privacy regulations, like the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
Beyond having robust policies to safeguard customer information, you need to have automated data processes in place, whose sole functions are to ensure your data stays private, protected and in complete compliance with international, national, state and local laws and regulations. Keeping data compliant enables you to build trust with customers, and also keeps you from the expenses caused by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fines and other legal woes.
Key #3: Data Stewardship
A president is only as competent as his cabinet, and in the realm of marketing, your marketing operations team is your cabinet. Comprised of your most trusted allies, it is the marketing ops team who leads the charge in managing and maintaining the highest quality data possible for your organization. These are the people who develop and implement the processes that ensure the data your company receives, stores, shares and uses is consistently accurate, accessible, and kept in a usable state across all connected sources.
Equal parts problem-solvers, tech-wranglers and expert strategists, your ops team is invaluable when it comes to keeping marketing campaigns in peak performance mode. As their beloved leader, you must make it your mission to equip them with the tools they need and the automations they require in order to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. Oftentimes this means supporting them by investing in new and improved tech integrations that reduce their manual steps burdens and empower them to spend their valuable time on more important matters.
The Benefits of Data Governance in Marketing
When you govern data well, it’s a rewarding experience for everyone in your organization. Here are six exciting results you can expect to see when you make data governance a priority:
- Good Data Governance Delivers a Higher ROI
Better data quality leads to more effective targeting and messaging, which results in higher conversion rates and ultimately, increased ROI.
2. Good Data Governance Reduces Your Marketing Spend
Poor data quality can cost businesses up to 15% of their revenue. By implementing robust data governance practices, companies can reduce unnecessary spending on ineffective marketing campaigns.
3. Good Data Governance Enhances Your Segmentation Strategy
Effective data governance enables businesses to segment their customer base accurately. According to HubSpot, personalized emails improve click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%.
4. Good Data Governance Helps You Stay in Compliance
Over 94 percent of customers report feeling more loyal toward brands that are transparent about how their data is used. Effective data governance not only ensures compliance with data protection regulations, but also builds trust, leading to higher customer retention and increased lifetime value (LTV).
5. Good Data Governance Reduces Churn and Increases Retention
According to Harvard Business Review, acquiring a new customer is up to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. Effective data governance allows for a better understanding of customer behavior, enabling your business to tailor retention strategies and reduce churn rates.
6. Good Data Governance Optimizes Your Marketing Funnel
Companies with mature lead generation and management practices have a 9 percent higher sales quota achievement rate. Data governance helps ensure leads are nurtured effectively and handed off to sales at the right time, leading to improved conversion rates.
Take the Lead
Sureshot has a long history of helping leading businesses govern their data with wisdom and precision. If you are ready to harness the power better data delivers, start by taking our FREE Martech Assessment.