According to the research from TDWI most businesses spend more time filtering and cleaning their database rather than actually using it. Let’s be honest, who has time for continuous database maintenance when your time can be better utilised elsewhere?
The quality and accuracy of your marketing database is one of the most important factors when reaching marketing success. Whilst it’s important that it’s kept up-to-date, accurate and complete, there is no easy way of achieving this, considering the constant change within the workplace. Employees move on or change roles, businesses move address or they can change their technology. This being said, there is however, ways to improve data quality and lead generation into sales.
Make sure your data is put into the system correctly from the very beginning. Capturing accurate, high quality data is imperative to your business, if you set rules in place from day one, it will assist in the reduction of input errors. Another way is restricting what can be added into the database i.e. date formatting, last name must be added before saving, etc, that way you cannot complete the data add successfully until all of the required fields are completed. You can also consider CRM (Customer Relations Management) training for management and staff. This is software you can use for your business that allows you to build a database that will suit the needs of your individual business. Depending on the size of your business, some software organisations offer a free version or at least a free trial to ensure it’s what you need.
It’s never a good idea to maintain varied database systems throughout the different functions or areas of your business. It can create inconsistencies which then make it challenging to keep track of. Whilst it’s not always possible or practical to have one system in place, you can bridge a silo using identifiers for customers or unique customer ID, email address, etc. This is especially helpful for large organisations that have many different departments, with the same customer utilising different areas of the business. Putting together a system that works well with different silos will ensure a holistic approach to your customer database. Work alongside professionals to ensure that everything running smoothly.
You must continuously fix and repair existing data by cleaning, amending and checking for double-ups. Having a sophisticated database in place can assist in avoiding bad data. Instances such as how you structure the date, first and last name, business name (adding Pty Ltd for example), can all effect the cleanliness of your database.
Whilst giving a number of employees editing access to the database may seem like an effective way of collating information, it can also be detrimental. It’s important to give ownership and responsibility to someone that will take accountability. Specific training and investment can be supplied to that individual or team to ensure the importance of accurate data quality.
Marketers are notorious for hating admin. They’ll procrastinate, delegate and avoid completing these administrative tasks wherever possible, however what it may come down to is the lack of knowledge and understanding of the data system. Providing training and guidance where necessary can support the data collection process which will not only enhance results, but give marketers the confidence to complete the task accurately.
Finally, the easiest solution is outsourcing the management of your marketing database. Datawash helps take the hassle and stress out of keeping your database up-to-date, ensuring its ongoing accuracy.
You’ll receive membership access to the Datawash portal including Australia Post’s address validation, change of address, return to sender, left address flags, deceased flags, plus telephone number append, email address verification and advanced duplicate detection services. Your whole database will be safe within Datawash’s electronic hands.
Datawash will send you free statistics audits instantaneously for every database checked for accuracy. There are no upfront costs and you only pay for those updated records you decide to download. It’s just another option to ensure your database is operating as efficiently and effectively as possible for your business.
Whichever path you take, be sure to do your research. Healthy, happy databases are an asset to your business, nurture them and in return they’ll reward you.