Maintaining a high-quality marketing database is crucial for the success of any sales and marketing campaign. A clean and accurate pool of target contact data ensures that your messages reach the right audience. That, inevitably, helps to improve engagement rates. What’s more, it reduces wastage, drives down marketing costs, and ensures that the efforts of your sales team are focused, and more effective.
Check out our ultimate guide to effective database marketing:
Don’t Miss the Bullseye Through Poor Targeting
Large organisations may deploy teams of analysts to ensure that their data is valid and accurate. But, most organisations simply don’t have the resources to do this. And, human error is often the cause of data obsolescence. Data ages, yet companies sit with significantly out-of-date data sets in their CRM systems. Therefore, when it comes to marketing outreach, campaigns miss their intended target.
Data accuracy is perhaps not the most exciting subject in the world. Devising and running sales and marketing campaigns is much more interesting for most marketing and sales executives. However, data hygiene, and effective data management are crucial elements in the success of sales lead generation campaigns.
Tips to Improve Marketing Database Quality
Data management is a discipline that needs to be adopted throughout your business. Systems, and tools, are only as good as the people that administer them. And, without data processes, and data rules, the old adage is true. Garbage in, Garbage out.
So, check out our tips below for some of the processes that you should put into practice to minimise B2B data obsolescence in your business.
Remove Duplicate Records:
Duplicate records can clutter your database and lead to wasted resources. Use a data deduplication tool to identify and remove any duplicate records. Or, use an external provider to validate or enrich your data.
Verify Contact Information:
Verify the contact information of your database regularly to ensure it is accurate and up to date. You can use data enrichment tools to fill in missing information, and to update outdated records.
Perform Periodic Data Cleanses:
Whether you allocate internal resources to this, or use the services of an outsourced provider, keeping prospect and customer up-to-date should be part of a data ritual. Ideally, perform the activity annually. But, also ensure that staff that interact with the data understand their ongoing role in keeping it clean following every customer interaction.
Standardise Data Fields:
Standardise the format of data fields in your database to prevent data entry errors and make it easier to search and segment your data. For example, standardised formats for names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.
Segment Your Database:
Segmenting your database into smaller groups based on specific criteria can help you target your messages more effectively. For example, you can segment your database by industry, job title, company size, type of customer, by age, or geographic location amongst many other criteria. Tighter segmentation, and allocation of ownership of those records, means there’s less to go wrong.
Monitor the engagement rates of your marketing campaigns and remove any inactive contacts from your database. This includes email bounces, job movers, new buyers, and so on. This will help to keep your database up to date and ensure that your messages are reaching a more engaged audience. There are plenty of ways to keep this up to date, including the use of LinkedIn, sales team input, email gone-aways and so on.
Keep Your Data Fresh:
Data can quickly become outdated. There are so many variables that can degrade with time. So it’s important to regularly refresh your database with new leads and fresh contacts. There are many different data tools on the market, or you can use lead generation platforms and providers to build up new leads, or purchase high-quality data from reputable vendors. Whilst some AI tools claim to massively improve the quality of data, caution should be the name of the game.
Employees are the Missing Link
As suggested above, staff play a primary role in keeping data clean. Your employees play a crucial part in ensuring the accuracy and freshness of the data. Here are some ways that employees can help to keep your data fresh:
Encourage Accurate Data Input:
Your employees can help to keep your database up to date by encouraging better data input. They can gather contact information from customers and prospects and enter it into your database promptly. Make it a discipline that they’re encouraged to follow.
Review Data Regularly:
Your employees can review and update data fields regularly to ensure that information is accurate and up to date. For example, they can verify email addresses or update job titles as soon as they become aware of a change.
Encourage your employees to provide feedback on the quality of the data in your marketing database. They may be able to identify patterns or errors that you haven’t noticed and suggest ways to improve the quality of the data.
Identify New Leads:
Your staff can identify new leads and contacts that should be added to your marketing database. For example, they may meet current and/or potential customers at industry events or conferences. Either remotely, or when they’re back in the office, they can add the new contact information to your database. But, make sure they avoid duplication, and that they replace old records when they become aware of the change.
Use CRM Tools:
Your employees can use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools to track customer interactions and update contact information as needed. This can help to ensure that your data is accurate and up to date.
Train Your Team:
Provide training to your employees on the importance of data accuracy and compliance, and how to maintain a high-quality marketing database. This can help to ensure that everyone in your organisation is committed to keeping the data fresh. Inaccurate data is non-compliant, and damages campaign effectiveness, and customer credibility.
By involving your employees in the process of keeping your marketing database up to date, you can ensure that your data is accurate and relevant. Encouraging input, providing regular feedback, and using data enhancement tools can help to maintain a high level of data quality and ultimately, lead to more successful marketing campaigns.
By following these tips, you can improve the quality of your marketing database and ensure that your messages are reaching the right audience. A high-quality database can lead to increased engagement rates, more qualified leads, and ultimately, more revenue for your business.