How well do you know your customers? More importantly, how well do you deliver the right message at the right time?
Consumers today are looking for personalized content. This is likely why 80 percent of organizations say customer insight is a top priority. Yet, less than 20 percent are able to optimize interactions to match their customers' needs.
Those attempting to use their data for this purpose are running into issues with data quality. We find 25 percent of B2B companies have critical errors in their data contacts.
In the U.S. alone, businesses believe 25 percent of their data is corrupt. Dirty data is a growing concern, and it'll only become worse.
What Is Dirty Data?
Dirty data is a term we use in marketing to identify business intelligence that doesn't meet certain quality standards. To give you a better idea, here's a breakdown of the six types of dirty data.
1. Incomplete Data
If you're using forms on your website to collect data from visitors, then you understand this very well. This is especially true if you have fields on your form that aren't mandatory to complete. To fill in the missing pieces, you attempt to collect customer data from multiple sources. Without a unified method to ensure the quality of the information you're collecting, you could end up having the following issue.
2. Incorrect Data
Let's say you're using the internet to its full potential. You're collecting details about your prospects and customers, such as their name, emails, addresses, and so on.
However, the accuracy isn't always there. This is a common issue, especially since data degrades by 3-5 percent each month.
This makes it impossible to know which data is the most current, so you'll end up with the third problem of inaccurate data.
3. Inaccurate Data
A database filled with inaccurate data is relatively common today, and it can wreak havoc on your marketing initiatives.
Try putting together a strategy to personalize your email campaign with incorrect emails. Your un-open rate and undeliverables will soar, hurting your results. The same goes if you're looking to put together detailed customer personas. This is impossible without the right information.
4. Duplicate Data
It's essential to have a way to identify users who are already in your database. This way, you don't mistakenly insert their data two (or more) times. This can happen if you have email newsletter signup forms for several of your free downloads. If one user signs up to them all, then you now have an issue with duplicate contacts.
5. Inconsistent Data
Duplicate data can present another issue, namely, inconsistency in contact information. Let's take the last example of one user signing up to your newsletter multiple times.
The user may sign up as Joe Wiggins on one form and then Joey Wiggins in another. It becomes difficult to find duplicate data when the contact's information is slightly different.
6. Business Rule Violations
Every company should have a set of rules to ensure consistency in their process. For instance, you may want Fahrenheit used over Celcius, USD over CAD, or lbs over kg.
Uniformity is especially important when you're working with clients across the world, and when you have operations in other countries.
So now that we've identified the core factors that make up dirty data, it's time to review how critical it is to perform data cleansing regularly.
How Does Data Become "Dirty?"
Several culprits play a role in the corruption of your business intelligence.
We already mentioned how basic forms can lead to duplicate entries from a single user. If you're guilty of siloing your marketing and sales departments, then you can run into this issue as well.
For example, a contact may sign up to your form and then reach out to one of your salespeople. Now, both your marketing and sales team have the same customer data, but they're using two different databases.
When your company lacks standard procedures and a centralized approach to data management, it can lead to years of "dirt." As the dust collects and tedious manual processes ensue, the dirty data goes unnoticed until it's too late.
The Negative Impact of Dirty Data
Did you know that dirty data costs businesses $3 trillion? And that's just in the U.S. If that doesn't get your attention, then nothing will.
Only 16 percent of businesses are confident in their data's accuracy. What are the chances you're in this small group? Chances are, your marketing campaigns are using inaccurate data, and it's leading to lost revenue.
According to the Experian Quality Data report, companies are losing an average of 12 percent of their revenue, and this has been the case since 2007!
Let's review why this is happening.
Stale Marketing Efforts
How can you expect to reach your target audience if you don't know who they are? That's what's happening when you're using irrelevant data.
You rely heavily on your data when planning out your email campaigns, newsletters, social media outreach, and targeted promotions, but how can you reach them without knowing the correct emails and social media channels to use? You risk running campaigns that go unnoticed and ignored. In other words, you're wasting your teams' time and effort (and budget) on ineffective operations.
Poor Customer Experience (and Engagement)
The primary goal of any marketing effort is to get your target audience to react favorably, but this becomes difficult when you're delivery is off-track.
Not only will this hurt potential relationships with prospects, but it'll also create a horrible experience with existing customers. Whenever customers interact with your company, they want the experience to be fast, simple, and stress-free.
If your CRM doesn't accurately display past purchases, inquiries, and other key data about a customer's interactions with your salespeople, then it'll ruin your chances of meeting their expectations. This is especially true when your sales and marketing departments aren't aligned. It's essential for marketing teams to pass along business intelligence to sales to help them close deals faster and easier. They'll know which items to pitch based on customer insights like demographics, pain points, and income.
Sales enablement is critical, so if your marketing team doesn't employ this, then you'll fall quickly behind.
Bad Decisions Based on Misinformation
In the past, executives had to use intuition and expert insights to make important business decisions. Today, they have access to mountainous amounts of data, allowing them to make more informed choices, but this is only if the data is clean.
Let's say, for example, that your records show an inflated number of leads (many of which are duplicates). The C-suite thinks this is great and increases funding for enhanced marketing initiatives to boost conversions.
Little do they know, they're throwing money down the drain because leads are a lot slimmer than they were lead to believe. Misinformed or underinformed decisions like this can be harmful to an organization, and it can potentially lead to financial problems or worse -- closure.
The Benefits of Proper Data Cleansing
With data that's pure and accurate, you can evolve your marketing campaigns into successful initiatives. You'll have the information you need at your fingertips to:
- Personalize customer experiences
- Improve sales and marketing alignment
- Generate accurate reports
- Grow your email campaigns with proper segmentation
- Boost customer retention
- Save money and increase revenue
There's really no question about the advantages data cleansing can bring, but how do you get to this point?
The answer is with tools like SmartSuite.
What Is SmartSuite?
SmartSuite is a data management solution that allows you to purify old data and enhance the quality of future data collection. With this tool, organizations (large and small) can develop and execute successful data-driven sales and marketing activities.
In other words, it's your go-to solution for spring cleaning your data (and keeping it fresh).
Here's a look at how the process works.
SmartSuite allows you to enhance your data collection efforts by providing you with more thorough information on your leads (in real time).
However, you don't build a roof before setting the foundation. Before you get to this point, we recommend cleaning your database first.
After the database cleanse, you can move on to verifying the accuracy of your data. What's great is that as soon as this is complete, your marketing teams can get to work using the data to target prospects and customers.
Maintaining a Clean Database
You have to treat your database as you do your home. It requires consistent cleaning to maintain a comfortable space. Your database also needs this level of maintenance. SmartSuite allows you to de-dupe, standardize, normalize, correct, and verify data for contacts and accounts. This way, your teams can amplify their lead scoring and routing tasks.
For example, with mass lead imports, you can quickly validate the data using automated cleansing and enrichment. This is done before you upload any data to your CRM or marketing automation platform.
Build a Robust Database
SmartSuite offers real-time data validation and enrichment for new leads and accounts. You can do this using SmartForms or list uploads. This product grants you access to 150 data attributes, such as firmographic, demographic, and social to create complete customer profiles.
As you know, these details are a must-have for developing personalized marketing campaigns and optimizing automation efforts.
Fill in Gaps in Your Target Audience
What marketer doesn't want to find and fill in gaps within their target audience? This will empower you to create programs and campaigns that are more defined.
There's no heavy lifting on your part. SmartSuite finds gaps in your contacts on identified key accounts and appends additional contacts to give your account a more complete view.
Don't Just Clean Your Data -- Enhance It
Sure, there are other tools out there that allow you to cleanse your data, but this isn't enough to create a robust database you can use to improve marketing and sales efforts. You need a product that'll help you to improve your data in real-time so you can amplify your personalization and automation.
With SmartSuite, you get this all bundled into one easy-to-use software. What's more, you can combine it with your existing CRM or other automation tools.
Ready to get started? Then it's time to Enrich Your Inbound Leads!
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, get a free data assessment and get a demo today.