10 Tips for maintaining quality data

There are all sorts of sophisticated tactics to segment and target your database. However, they all rely on good quality, accurate data. Data is key. So, whether you want to start predictive lead scoring, account based marketing or a new nurture program, your success will hang on the quality of your data.

Data impacts everything from email deliverability and lead conversion rates and ultimately, revenue generation. Your marketing database might be huge, and just thinking about cleaning it might be overwhelming. Or your database might be an easy to manage size, but the thought of cleaning it up and breaking it is equally frightening. So here are some tips on where to start, and how to maintain your data no matter the size of your database:

  1. Be accountable. Assign someone to take ownership of the data and become the key decision maker when it comes to identifying issues and adopting any changes.
  2. Complete an audit. You need to know where to start and where your data issues lie. Ensure that a full audit is completed. How complete are your data records? Are there common trends you can spot which can be tackled with your next marketing campaign?
  3. Outline rigorous data processes. When data is uploaded, ensure that there is a consistent, and adhered to process. Values should be standardized where possible and there should be a set minimum number of fields required for new contact records.
  4. Remember all systems. Clearly document all systems that your data flows through to ensure that any duplicates are handled correctly. Set your data priorities accordingly.
  5. Create a data dictionary. It sounds tedious but it will pay off. This will ensure that all stakeholders can refer to a single place if they do not know what certain fields are.
  6. Automate with a contact washing machine. Clean up and standardize key fields such as Phone Number, Country, Salutation to allow for more accurate segmentation.
  7. Ongoing maintenance planning. Outline which reports you want to pull on a weekly/monthly/yearly basis to highlight and benchmark your data quality.
  8. Templates. Create and utilise consistent and standardized form templates on your website and landing pages so that when users enter their own data you are setting the minimum level of information. Consider drop down lists and validation on relevant fields.
  9. Consider progressive profiling. Forms utilizing progressive profiling are a great way of allowing your audience to update their details in stages. Long forms with multiple fields often put users off.
  10. Monitor the age of your database. Analysts believe that open and click through rates can decline as much as 25% once a contact record is a year old*. Leverage data stamps on your contact records when they are created, modified and/or appended.

Wondering what the payout is for implementing these data processes and templates? Clients who are constantly cleaning and maintaining their data have seen a substantial increase (upwards of 3x) in the number of leads who are considered qualified.**

So what are you waiting for? Call us today if you want help in implementing a killer data quality strategy.

*Oracle: Data Management Playbook
**Oracle: Data Cleansing Best Practices