3 easy ways to improve your data in 2013
With the start of the New Year, the promise of new beginnings brings a sense of reflection. What were some major obstacles you faced in 2012 and how did you overcome them? What are some things that need to be a major focal point in 2013? For many, data hygiene and management are always on the list of improvements – yet they always seem to be overlooked. The time investment requested of us to make heads or tails of the plethora of information available is overwhelming. Not to mention understanding that information and organizing it in an easy to read fashion. Most of us don’t have the time, resources or knowledge – so we simply forget about data.
Why do we even need to be concerned about data? The day-to-day costs of poor data can range between 10 and 20 percent of revenue. The majority of those costs are derived from mailing materials to incorrect addresses. The end result? Loss of revenue, returned mail and annoyed customers. So how can you ensure a better data year ahead? We’ve outlined the three most common pitfalls and problems from our clients and explain how to approach each of them.
1. Current data is unorganized and poorly managed
According to an Experian survey, two out of three businesses waste up to 35% of their marketing budget due to bad data. That’s a hefty percentage regardless of your marketing dollars. Chances are, your data is housed in a few excel spreadsheets somewhere…someone looks at them on occasion, right?
Solution: You can’t do it alone. Luckily, there are ways to analyze current databases and figure out exactly what isn’t working for your business. In fact, you can send us a sample of your current data and we’ll perform an analysis for free! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
2. Multiple sources
A very common and frustrating issue is always communication. Most companies are using different software systems and programs that don’t talk to each other. Lack of integration actually prohibits successful delivery of information.
Solution: Moving from multiple systems to one, cross-channel platform will work wonders for your data and overall marketing efforts. Companies like ExactTarget are leaders in this space and help eliminate this issue.
3. Duplication of data
It is estimated that 37% of an average sized business database will decay every year. When handling consumer data, accuracy is so important. Mailing to a wrong address or sending the wrong item can cost your reputation. How can you keep up with the ever-evolving data landscape?
Solution: Again, having a proper analysis on your data can save a lot of time and money in the long run. Reducing duplicate records, incorrect addresses and data processing errors are well worth the investment.
Other common issues arise with unorganized data as well. Problems like having a hard time understanding buyer preferences and activity. Most companies are aware of what information they want to capture, but are unsure of how to easily access that information. Don’t let another year go by with data hygiene and management at the bottom of your list. Let 2013 be a year of new beginnings, smarter priorities and happier lives!
See our related case study on database management, consolidation and development.