The What, Why and How of Optimising your marketing data.

Your contact data is an essential part of your marketing activities. If the data is poor quality, out of date, insufficient or just poorly targeted then the marketing activity will not succeed. But what must you do to ensure that you do not waste your precious marketing dollars? How can you measure the quality of the data that you currently have, and decide what you must do to improve it?

What do we mean by optimising your marketing data? The idea may sound a little abstract but the principals behind data optimisation are actually very straight forward. In a nutshell, we are attempting to ensure that we have not only enough data, but also the right type and quality of data to achieve our particular marketing goals. A typical data optimisation project will need clear answers to at least some, if not all, of the following questions:

 What are our key marketing goals, and what activities are we planning to carry out?

 How much data, and what type of data, will we need to support these goals?

 What data do we have and how good is it – e.g. how suitable is it for say emails, direct mail, and telemarketing?

 How much more data will we need in additional to our current data set and what will be the most cost effective means to sourcing that data?

 Does our data strategy encourage us to collect the right type of data to allow us to segment and analyse our prospects and customers effectively?

 How will our data be managed, maintained and refreshed to ensure that the data quality and sufficiency does not deteriorate? Why? Why should you consider a data optimisation project?

Essentially, because your data is your most valuable asset. It tells you all about your existing customers as well as providing the means to reach and impact your potential customers. One of the main reasons that even the best formulated marketing plans fail, and direct marketing campaigns consistently underachieve, is poorly targeted and populated data. However, buying and maintaining data is expensive. You need to ensure you buy enough and the right type of data to support your plans, but not too much! Data that is not utilised quickly goes out-of-date! Optimising your data and its usage ultimately enables you to spend less to achieve more.

Documenting your activities, objectives, expected results and timetable will provide a simple forecast of the data required, broken out by sector, geography or category. This will allow decisions to be taken on what data is required, exactly when it is needed, and which type of activity is most likely to deliver the results that are needed. You may need to enhance your existing data, or buy new data targeted directly to a campaign. For example, you may have 5,000 contact records already, but can you identify how many of them are in the correct business area, how many have up-to-date email addresses and telephone numbers, etc.

Our data analysis report will help you to quantify what you have got, and what you need going forward. Your data is most likely held in several different systems, guarded jealously by different people. You probably have customer data held in the finance system, sales people will have data in a CRM system or personal spreadsheets, marketing will have their own database of ‘suspects’, often gathered from different sources over time, and so on. All of this data is valuable, but in different ways. The first task is to gather it together and analyse its quality and completeness.

For example, finance data may hold different attributes from sales data. You may need to involve your marketing, sales and finance department to determine what data there is, and how to extract it. Once the data has been assembled and enhanced you can decide on how it is to be used and if the enhanced data should go back into its original systems.

Take action now! Contact us to arrange an initial meeting when we can review your plans and assess the suitability of your data. Using our simple scorecarding we can quickly identify any areas for improvement and recommend tactics to achieve them.


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