Data-Driven Marketing: How to Avoid the Dead-End Roads
Oh, the wonderful world of data. Data is cumbersome. But time and time again you are told to be data-driven. It sounds fairly easy, especially when you put it into words – but it’s not. When you are data-driven you’re almost certainly going to be faced with major challenges. Think of it as a long road, each piece of data is a turn off of that road, but wait…you are now faced with a dead end. The question is, how do you avoid the dead-end roads?
The first step is cleaning your data. You won’t get anywhere unless your data is cleaned up. Bring all of the data in from your data silos and put it in one place. This ensures that you aren’t missing any information that may be relevant to any existing data. Next, detect and correct out of date data. You can do this manually or by using your CRM system to detect inconsistencies. After this portion is completed you’ll want to standardize your formatting – making sure all entries are in the same format and will continue to be in the same format moving forward. Merge your duplicates as having multiples of one contact just isn’t necessary. Finally, take the time to have your data validated. Send your data out to a data validation company and verify that all your emails are valid.
Augment the Data
This step is fairly simple. Add in any additional information you may have to help enrich the data further. If you don’t have time to do this yourself, this is something that can be outsourced to either a professional service or to a sub-contractor. Adding data attributes will help in the planning of marketing strategies in the future. This is going to paint a more clear picture of who your customers truly are and will help in targeting and messaging more effectively.
Analyze the data
Ah, the home stretch. Feels good, right? This is where you will see your hard work paying off. Once you have gotten everything in place and you start executing your marketing plans – you can now analyze the new data you have created. This portion is going to give you meaningful insights to make the right decisions for yourself and your customers moving forward. You can use this newly updated data for future marketing. Some data points that can be useful are demographic information, geographic location, buying habits, etc. All of these attributes can and will affect your future marketing campaigns.
Avoiding dead-ends is a tedious task, but with the right tools, it can be a smooth process. Once you have the first steps completed, make sure you have someone who continuously monitors new data coming in to fit the format you’ve adopted and to forego any incomplete information acquired. Now you can sit back and enjoy the rewards of a higher ROI because now – you are data-driven! If you need help, give us a call!