Data quality is a word that every marketer should have in their vocabulary. Data science is evolving, and marketers are beginning to realize the need to verify their contact lists in an effort to provide their sales teams with the most clean and validated data possible.
Unfortunately, even though they know that clean data is a big deal and will directly affect their business, very few companies make it a priority. Mostly because it’s hard work, and there is still a huge gap with regards to knowledge about databases and contact validity and cleanliness. You may not know the importance, perhaps you don’t know how to clean out the bad contact information, or even what constitutes bad contact information. Ascend2 reported that around 35% of marketers noted that they have poor data quality however, only 8% actually plan to change the quality of their contact databases.
The importance of good data
It’s obvious that your sales will be more successful and simpler if the contact database is clean, validated, and complete. Some of the data you should be looking to verify is:
- Contact names
- Job titles
- Email addresses
- Business websites
Data issues do not only arise when the data is input, but also as it becomes outdated. We call this data ‘stale’ like bread, for example: people change jobs, phone numbers, emails, move cities. This will result in your lead coming up short and being useless.
The worst part is that you invest your corporate budget into your contact database and you expect it to yield profits through sales. When you have bad data it is a huge waste of your money and your sales team’s time and efforts. Email kickbacks can cause a decrease in sales, and possibly put you on a no-send list.
Cleaning your data
First you need to segregate the good data and the bad data – figure out which is correct and which isn’t. It’s important to perform a cleanse every 6 months at minimum.
How do you do this?
- Verify and update the information manually – dial the numbers, verify job information, check websites. This option is very labour intensive and can be time consuming.
- Use a program – there are automated programs that verify contact and database information. Although this method is an investment it’s quicker and lowers the risk of error.
Remember, it’s important not to just focus on the bad data or you will constantly be playing catch up. Try to aim to consistently update your good data and even add additional information as it becomes available. New social media accounts, phone numbers, and websites will become available for you to enrich the data you already have. Automation services and programs allow you to cleanse and update your data with very little manual intervention.
Become a smarter marketer
We’ve established that data is extremely important and that clean data is the foundation of sales for your marketing team and your company. Be proactive and ensure your data is always of the highest quality. Keep your data up to date and add new information as it becomes available. Increase your sales and make your business more profitable simply through cleansing your contact database!