The CMO's Guide to Data Backup (Protecting Your Lead Generation Efforts From Disaster)

Although you may not look at it this way, everything you do is done in order to collect data. Sure, you're focused on generating leads and marketing segmentation, and conversion rates -- but what is essential for every one of those tasks? Yep: data. That means that data is the most valuable asset the marketing department, and perhaps the entire organization, has. It is absolutely essential that the CMO take data backups seriously. Equipment can fail. Intruders can breach the system. Disasters like fires and hurricanes can strike. But no matter what comes along, with a good backup solution you and your data are protected.

What Needs to Be Backed Up?

What data would hurt you if it was lost? Don't overlook 'hidden' data sources, like those in cloud applications (CRM, email and marketing automation tools, etc.). Is there important historical data on legacy systems that are important in developing successful new campaigns? Make a list of the data you need, and be sure there is a plan in place for regular and thorough backups for all of it.

How Often Does It Need Backing Up?

Backup frequency depends on how often the data is altered. Data you don't change or add to very often could be backed up monthly, or perhaps quarterly. Data that is generated all day every day by webforms or email subscription requests needs to be backed up daily, and perhaps multiple times per day.

How Many Copies of the Backups Do We Need to Keep?

One copy of your backups is just as susceptible to corruption or destruction as your systems are. Hard drives, tapes, and other backup systems can fail, become lost, get damaged, etc. The industry standard is three backups, including at least two different media, and stored in at least two sites.

Where Should Backup Copies Be Stored?

Data backups If you store the backups only onsite, any event that damages or destroys your primary systems can also take out your backup copies.

Two onsite copies (preferably on different media) plus one cloud copy is usually sufficient. The reason for onsite backups on different media is this: if you buy a bunch of tapes or hard drives together, they're likely to fail at around the same time. This means that you could lose both your onsite copies and have none usable. A cloud backup assures that you can restore your data if something tragic happens to your facilities, such as flood, fire, or earthquake. With two onsite and one offsite (cloud) backup, you're likely safe.

How Long Should Backup Copies Be Kept?

Ideally, you won't just keep the latest copy of your backup, because you might not learn that data has been corrupted for some time. By then you've copied over or discarded your good backups and only have backups of the corrupted data. Keep backups for weeks, months, or years, if possible. Also, keep records as long as required by any industry regulations or laws governing your industry. Other than that, keep as much as you can afford to. There are often surprising reasons why backups or old data prove to be valuable in the future.

Taking on data marketing comes with a lot of new issues and responsibilities, but the power and rewards of the data are definitely worth the trouble. ReachForce helps marketers increase revenue contribution by solving some of their toughest data management problems. We understand the challenges of results-driven marketers and provide solutions to make initiatives like marketing automation, personalization and predictive marketing better. Whether you have an acute pain to solve today or prefer to grow your capabilities over time, ReachForce can unify, clean and enrich prospect and customer lifecycle data in your business, and do it at your own pace.

To learn more about how ReachForce can help you optimize demand generation and your impact on revenue, check out our real-time web form enrichment demo, or request a free data assessment. Get the power to let data drive marketing and higher performance.

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