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Stop! Before You Start Planning Your Marketing Campaign - Have You Considered Your Business Data Analysis Needs?

Successful marketing communications rely on your data being up to scratch – but is it? Here are some tips to get your contacts database into shape.

A successful marketing campaign relies on getting the right message, to the right client at the right time. If yours fails to account for any one of these three core requirements, the campaign will always be less successful than expected.

Your marketing database should hold the key to the who and the what, and may even help you narrow down the when, too. If that information is not available using business data analysis, or is too hard to track down, your campaign is already on the road to failure.

Irrelevant data

Without extremely careful management, your contacts database will slowly fill with details that are out-of-date and therefore no longer relevant. This irrelevant data:

  • Is a waste of resources in terms of storage and messages.
  • Renders the data useless for mailing list segmentation.
  • Prevents accurate calculation of campaign success rates and statistics.
  • Renders further business data analysis efforts useless.

“The typical email has a 5% open rate, but you can get that as high as 95% if the message is relevant enough.” – Pratik Dholakiya – eConsultancy.

Incomplete data

Often contacts are added to your database in a hurry, leaving certain important fields incomplete. Without having a consistent information set for every contact, segmented marketing campaigns become incredibly difficult to get right.

The “correct” data your business needs depends on:

  • The products or services you hope to sell.
  • The target market for your products.
  • The medium by which you mean to contact your sales prospects.

Marketing databases decay at over 40% a year - Marketscan

Getting your data in order

If you know what is wrong with your data, correcting the problems is relatively straight-forward... in theory. There are four stages to making sure your data is ready for segmentation:

  1. Archive or delete records that are known to be incorrect or out of date.
  2. Invest in data cleansing services to extract additional value from the data that remains.
  3. Wherever possible, ‘fill in the blanks’ – locate missing information to complete customer records.
  4. Augment your existing customer records with a properly engineered data set purchased from a reputable provider.

It is important not to be precious with old data – if it cannot be salvaged at reasonable cost, you must augment it with new data to ensure you have all the information you need for a properly segmented marketing campaign. Your business data analysis efforts will also be much more productive in future.

“Absolutely no organisation can stand up and say their data is 100% accurate. That's never going to happen. The key is to identify which data really needs to be accurate, and how you can achieve that.” – Ian Charlesworth, senior research analyst at Butler Group.

Before starting your next campaign

Make sure your next campaign is a success by:

  • Getting data into shape before sending messages.
  • Ensure you have the information you need to perform segmentation that will actually yield results.
  • Investing in data cleansing is investing in success.
  • Adding new contacts from a respectable data provider is a great way to build your mailing list quickly.

Discover how data can help you at each stage of your marketing campaign with our free eGuide: Your Campaign, Our Data.