The lack of clean data is one of the main issues affecting digital brands today, making it difficult for marketing teams to effectively target and engage with audiences. In his recent presentation at The MarTech Conference (scroll down to watch the video of their session), Jack Pritchard, account manager at Peachtree Data, highlighted the necessity of organizing this information.
“You need data quality and hygiene to be closer to where that marketing strategy is,” he said. “There’s a lot riding on the quality (or lack thereof) of your data.”
Data quality issues, which often stem from first-line, day-to-day operations, can ultimately harm your bottom line if left untreated. That’s why marketers need to ensure their data collection, analysis, and activation processes are optimized from the get-go.
Here are some data quality strategies Pritchard suggests marketing teams adopt to fix these problems.
Create a data quality report
One of the first steps marketing teams need to prioritize when cleaning up their data is to create a data quality report. As an example, Pritchard shared a report template his team created for their clients that highlights many potential reporting issues, including home address changes, duplicate customers, and profiles in need of suppression.
“[Reporting] isn’t some day-to-day operation that might save you $10 or $15 every now and then,” Pritchard said. Rather, detailing these data issues can help ensure your brand’s long-term marketing success by keeping track of problems as they arise.
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Conduct a data quality assessment
“My [next] recommendation is to do a data quality assessment,” said Pritchard. “What that means is to assess your data quality against weighted aspects.”
Data quality assessments can help determine how well your information stacks up to the dimensions of high-quality data, which are weighted according to their importance to your organization. These can include:
Pritchard’s team’s assessment scores clients from a range of zero to 100, but brands can use any scale they like — as long as it’s consistent. Once completed, your team (usually middle managers) can highlight areas of strength and weakness, which will inform the overall marketing strategy going forward.
Improve data quality through hygiene and enhancement efforts
After identifying data issues through quality assessment and reports, marketers should focus on cleaning up the errors through hygiene efforts.
“If you liken your marketing campaigns to playing darts, you want those darts to hit the board, which is the marketing campaign being effective,” Pritchard said.
He added, “Data hygiene would be increasing the accuracy of that dart.”
Data hygiene addresses the verification, suppression, and deduplication issues identified in your assessments and reports. Removing inactive, duplicate, and suppressed accounts in this way can help your team save money, spending resources only on accounts that are actionable.
But data hygiene alone isn’t enough to ensure organizational success. So, Pritchett encourages brands to enact data enhancement efforts as well.
This process involves asking customers for additional first-party data — such as phone numbers, emails, and addresses — to give your brand more context and better communicate with them across multiple channels.
“Using our dart analogy, enhancement gives you more darts to throw,” he said. “If you’re throwing three darts at a bullseye, you’ll have a much better chance [of hitting it] if you throw 100 instead.”
Combined, data hygiene and enhancement efforts have the potential to save money and resources by targeting actionable leads, encouraging more organizational success.