The quality of the data in your customer database defines its usefulness and therefore its value – this is why you need to regularly undergo a data quality audit.
The importance of a growing contacts database
A healthy contacts database is a growing database. If new subscribers, leads and prospects are not being added to your mailing list, something is wrong.
4 out of 5 businesses conduct marketing campaigns to generate sales leads, whilst two-thirds use the exercise to grow their customer database. – Marketscan research.
It is very important to check that “new” contacts being added to the system really are new – otherwise you could be creating a whole new data management headache. Which is where a routine data quality audit will help.
Negative effects of dirty data
As your database grows, so too does the chance of data becoming out of date, or ‘dirty’. Within months of deployment, even the best maintained database will show signs of dirty data. Common problems include:
- Incomplete records.
- Typographical errors.
- Out-of-date information.
- Duplicate records.
Having these sorts of errors present in your data creates additional problems when you actually come to use the information to inform your marketing campaigns and sales efforts:
- Higher campaign running costs, such as wasted postage or telephone calls for messages that are never delivered.
- Duplicate messages being sent or calls placed to clients who have multiple contact records in your database, potentially tarnishing your brand image in the process.
- Messages being delivered to the ‘wrong’ person, so that key decision makers never see, or act upon it.
- Increased messaging failures due to faulty data will skew campaign statistics, making it impossible to correctly calculate ROI and other success metrics.
Less than half of all businesses check their customer data accuracy prior to starting a campaign. –Marketscan research.
Performing a data quality audit without personal involvement
Depending on how many customer records are stored in your contacts database and your data cleansing skillset, successfully completing a data quality audit could be quite daunting. Using a third party to help with your data quality audit:
- Provides you with the time and dedicated human resources required to check and correct missing data.
- Provides access to specialist data cleansing and data management skills required to optimise your contacts database.
- Frees your team to focus on their core roles and responsibilities, keeping productivity levels up whilst remedial work is undertaken.
Nearly a quarter of all businesses admit their marketing data has not been cleaned at all in the last 12 months. – Marketscan research.
This is why you need to clean your database
The data management provider will knock your data back into shape, restoring it as a true company asset and revenue creation tool. Remember:
- If you are trying to grow your database, it is important to ensure existing records are ‘clean’.
- Dirty data is costing your business through increased failure rates and manual data correction.
- Using a third party to perform a data quality audit allows you to reap the benefits without draining your time and resources.
More cleaning tips
Learn how to give your database a deep clean so it shines this Summer, in the guide: 5 steps to cleaner, happier data.
This article was first published on the Marketscan blog.