The average enterprise no longer lacks for data. According to Northeastern University, around 2.5 exabytes of data is generated per day. If anything, this means that companies have the opposite problem – they now face a deluge of data points every minute of every day. As a result, the debate has shifted to whether the right data is collected and whether the data that is collected is high quality or not.
Data quality can make a substantial difference in the success of your marketing programs. If you have high quality data, you can provide contextually relevant messages to your customers easily and efficiently – knowing that your targeted message will reach the right person. Without that assurance, you risk sending an offer that is irrelevant at best and tone-deaf at worst. So how can you ensure that you have high quality data? Here are four critical tips that can make the difference:
- Invest in the right technologies. Managing data quality effectively is often a difficult proposition because many companies use spreadsheets and other manual tools. If you invest in the right solutions that can automate some or all of your data quality processes, such as a data hub that unifies data across functional and channel-specific silos, you can ensure that customer data is accessible to any stakeholder or solution that needs access.
- Link disparate data sources. Connecting data across functional and channel-specific silos helps you create a unified customer profile, or “golden record,” which 90 percent of CMOs acknowledge they don’t currently have. The unified customer profile can enable better personalization and more effective cross-channel marketing. More than that, you can be assured that you’re sending the true next-best offer to your customers because you understand them more deeply.
- Spend the time to maintain your data. Although data quality tools can substantially automate many of your processes, that does not mean you can set up a solution once and expect to always have high quality data. You need to invest the necessary time, resources, and tools to augment and scrub customer records, including de-duplication and using third-party sources to both enrich profiles and fill in gaps. Only by putting in the time can you be assured of always having quality data on hand.
- Combine online and offline data sources. Customers don’t often interact with brands solely through digital channels. There are also frequent offline interactions, such as in a retail location or via a customer service call center. Because customer interactions with your company can span the online and offline worlds, you need to combine both data flows into a single centralized portal to ensure that you have the most complete picture possible of your customer’s needs, wants, and desires.
Collecting enough data to inform your customer engagement efforts is no longer an issue for the modern enterprise. Rather, the problem now is ensuring that all the data you’ve collected is of sufficiently high quality to inform the kind of contextually relevant interactions that the modern customer has come to expect.