‘Big Data’ is one of the most popular buzzwords in the last ten years. Data allows us to peak inside our customers’ lives. Do they like red or orange? Do they like marketing or finance? Data can be a big headache for small to medium enterprises – especially when they experience a surge in the data they process. By 2020, there will be 44 times more data in the world than 2009. How prepared is your business for the data tsunami?
A healthy database gives you higher conversion rates and higher rates of repeat purchase. Data allows you to target specific lead types, locations and businesses. This produces a more genuine connection with your customers and an overall decrease in unsubscribes.
Here’s the trouble. Most databases are either under-used and ignored, or, over-invested in as companies spend thousands on campaigns that don’t work. The reason for both is usually messy data.
Human randomness and entry errors are both causes of dirty data. ‘NSW’, ‘nsw’, ‘n.s.w.’ and ‘New South Wales’ are treated as four different inputs in most systems. Can you imagine wanting to send an email to all your NSW customers only to find they’ve been tagged under four different typing variations meaning not only do you have to go back and look through your customers but you also have to go back and look through all the typing conventions and the whole thing just becomes a bit of a convoluted mess like this sentence? A great tip is to keep a list of all the shared fields your database will have and ensure that all data entries follow protocol.
There are three ways to keep your data clean: hire an assistant who is fluent in your CRM software, use an automated cleaning campaign or manually clean each contact yourself. Every database needs ongoing maintenance – but some need emergency treatment.
So how healthy is your database?
And is your database cleaner than your competitors’ databases? (Admit it, we all love to compare and compete). A great place to start is by chatting to our friends over at Demand Flow Intelligence who can assess the state of your database by rating it across 15 key targeted areas. Their Marketing Data Health Self-Assessment questionnaire only takes 10 minutes to complete, but the scores will compare your business with the industry averages, so you can keep one eye on your competitors and the other marvelling over your clean data!
Make your data a business asset rather than a burden. Ask yourself: is your database really working for you or are you working for it? Take charge now because higher conversion rates means a higher chance of beating your annual profit goals!
P.S Learn how to re-engage your existing database here
Written by Lina Lau, Special Projects at Step Change