Monday, September 24, 2007
What is Your Data Quality Gameplan?
If you are frequent readers of our blog, you know that one of the subjects that we are most passionate about is that of maximizing good data quality. Data quality can make or break your direct marketing success -- and it's been proven time and again. We are always amazed when we run into those who have not adopted this mantra -- and the resulting dollars that are wasted on marketing with dirty data. It's all about data cleanliness, my friends -- and there is simply no way to market effectively without clean, quality data.
In fact, QAS has recently posted several articles about this very subject. In their most recent post, they post some of our very favorite kind of proof -- dollars! According to the article, "Businesses across the US are expected to have increased their budgets for direct marketing as they see the potential benefits of campaigns launched on the back of effective data quality systems, according to new figures. The latest Media Business Report from Jack Myers revealed that traditional types of marketing, including direct mail, continue to be popular among businesses of all sizes. Based on current rate of growth, the group has forecast that total direct marketing budgets across the country will increase by 3.6 per cent in 2007." Now, that's music to our ears for sure!
It seems like such a simple equation-- so why doesn't everyone just do it? Well, in order to consistently clean and manage your data, it takes both a time and a financial investment. However, even with the use of very simple techniques, like widely-available, inexpensive data hygiene tools, you can distinctly improve your data quality in short order.
It is very important to fully understand what your company actually needs when you look at data quality tools. There are those firms out there that have expensive, sexy data management and integration tools that are very effective -- but only necessary in some circumstances. When beginning to look at your data and database to determine what types of data cleansing tools and techniques you need in your particular company, start with a hard look at exactly what you are trying to accomplish. If you aren't sure, bring in an expert (like us!) to help you assess your situation and wade through the many different tools and solutions that are out there in the market. It's just as important not to over-spend in this area as it is to actually bring the tools in themselves. For more of our tips on this, take a look at our Data Quality Whitepaper. We wrote this Whitepaper based upon our experiences in assisting our clients in implementing sound data quality practices. It outlines some of the pitfalls to avoid -- and these will definitely be helpful to you as you assess your own particular situation.
The good news for us direct marketing types, is that direct marketing budgets are expected to increase -- yahoo! As the article states, "In comparison, several other areas of traditional media advertising, including yellow pages, are expected to grow by less than one per cent as marketers react to poor rates of return."
We'll take our 3.6% all day long!