Sophisticated Marketing Systems Undermined by “Dirty Data”

Today’s marketers have a wide array of sophisticated personalization and automation tools designed to deliver custom-tailored messages at the optimal point in potential leads’ purchase decision process.

But none of that matters if the message never gets there.

The average company’s e-mail deliverability rate was just 72 percent in a recent survey by B2B data vendor NetProspex. That means that more than one-fourth of all marketing communications sent through the vital email channel never had a chance, regardless of how much personalization or behavioral targeting was applied to this “dirty data,” as many marketers call it.

One obvious cause of poor data quality is weak, or even non-existent, efforts by companies to ensure consistency in the records they keep about customers. Only one in three companies manages its data quality efforts through a single point manager or team, according to a recent survey by Experian.

This lack of oversight creates enormous risk of bad or inconsistent data being entered by various teams at all points of customer contact. And the impact is dramatic:about a quarter of U.S. companies say they suspect their data quality is poor, slightly higher than the rate worldwide.The NetProspex survey we mentioned earlier placed more than half of respondents’ data quality in the “risky” category.

Threats to Your Data Quality Come from Everywhere

And poor internal data management is just part of the issue. Your marketing database is also at risk from inconsistent or just flat wrong information imported from a wide array of list managers and other sources. Famously, company recently found that its purchased address lists included 17 spellings for the business name “McDonald’s.”

All told, industry experts suggest that a company’s marketing database degrades about 2 percent monthly, due not only to bad data entry but also changes in contacts’ employment status, phone number or other vital information.

Many CRM systems or B2B lead generation partners employ automated systems to improve the quality of the data they pass on to your marketing team. At True Influence™, we have found that taking the extra step of validating all our B2B leads by actually calling a lead to confirm key information is the best way to ensure that the data we share with partners is accurate and highly valuable.

The True Influence Answer to Dirty Data

Our Lead Verification service ensures that leads we pass over to your CRM, marketing automation software or other internal system is 95 percent accurate. And of course, in cases where some “dirty data” slips through, we correct the issue, making your investment in quality leads 100 percent realized.

Experian suggests a strong correlation between taking marketing data quality seriously and revenue growth, but not everyone is getting the message. Demand Metric, a global marketing research and advisory firm, reports although 63 percent respondents to a recent survey said they realize they have marketing data quality issues, more than half of them say their companies have no formal data-cleaning process in place.

Experts suggest that internal efforts to control the quality of marketing data coming into your organization from all sources are vital to the ongoing success of your marketing efforts. CRMSearch suggests a series of basic hygiene checks, including setting meticulous data standards for all sources and running regular data audits to look for inconsistencies and errors.

Bad data continues to plague most companies’ marketing efforts, and many marketing teams struggle even to create a formal plan to resolve this critical issue. Automated systems typically used to combat the problem can’t replicate the efficiency of simply picking up the phone and making sure you have an accurate picture of the client you are trying to win.

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