Marketers love to talk about their databases. The number of leads they’ve collected is a source of great pride. So not many of them want to talk about data cleansing, that is, taking all those spectacular leads and whittling them down to size. No marketer wants a smaller database of leads. But all marketers do want quality leads, and quality leads are essential for an effective, efficient, successful campaign.
Why Data Cleansing is Essential
Dirty data just might be the marketer’s worst problem today. It wastes money in many ways: it takes up more storage space, eats up more CPU power, strains cloud resources, requires more IT management, and generally causes difficulties between IT and marketing. But bad data is more costly than that, because it means a whole lot of messages and content are sent out to the wrong people, or worse, into absolute nothingness. If the data is used for analytical purposes, such as building customer profiles or running predictive analysis, it skews the results tremendously, causing even more waste and problems.
How Data Gets Corrupted
There are as many ways for data to become corrupt as there are marketers to cry about it at night. By nature, marketing data begins to deteriorate the moment it’s collected. People change jobs, get promotions, quit, or pass away. That’s only what happens to the data that was good to begin with, which an unhealthy lot of it is not.
Some people deliberately give marketers bad data because they don’t want to be pressured to buy something. Others try to give the right answers, but type something in wrong or get distracted. Much of the data is duplicated data — data that gets entered into the system multiple times for some reason. Maybe the same person downloaded your e-book five different times, or maybe they downloaded a whitepaper plus an e-book plus your latest research report. There are may ways databases are filled with bad data.
What Data Cleansing Involves
So, how can marketers get rid of the duplicates, old data, invalid data, etc.? The first step is to comb the data, toss the duplicates and exorcise the invalid data, such as data entered into the wrong fields, incomplete information, obviously phony information (like CEO Mickey Mouse and phone numbers such as 867-5309), etc. Next up is to put the data into a consistent format. Finally, the methods of collecting data have to be improved so that future cleansings aren’t as complicated. That involves using smarter forms, cookies, and online profiling instead of relying so much on demographic data entered by potential leads.
Only when your marketing database is thoroughly cleansed can you engage in successful campaigns. ReachForce SmartForms helps marketers increase revenue contribution by solving some of their toughest data collection and management problems. We understand the challenges of results-driven marketers and provide solutions to make initiatives like landing pages better. Whether you have an acute pain to solve today or prefer to grow your capabilities over time, ReachForce SmartForms can help you improve your lead generation efforts at your own pace.