We've seen too many CRM or marketing database initiatives fail simply because the data input to the system was full of duplicate or dated data. And, sadly, we've seen users judge the effectiveness of the database system solely based on the customer data they see, completely ignoring the other functions and system capabilities.
If that first impression is bad, you know that they'll never trust, nor use the new technology. What a waste of money...
That's why we're firm believers in using all of the tools and processes available BEFORE you import any data into a new database. And, this article from B2B Online highlights that point.
"Executing a fine-tuned data-quality strategy is essential in today's multichannel environment. As costs climb across the board due to a weakened economy, having accurate data becomes even more important to ensure targeted marketing messages actually reach customers and prospects."Yep, actually reaching the people you're trying to target is, indeed, important...
The good news is that the marketplace is starting to realize the importance of data quality.
"Refining customer data quality and access to customer data have emerged as two of the top marketing investment priorities of b-to-b CMOs this year. Half of b-to-b marketers plan to put more resources against creating marketing databases, cleaning up customer data, improving sales force automation and CRM integration, according to Forrester Research in its “B2B CMO Investment Priorities for 2008” report."This is even better news to the direct marketers (like RRW!) who understand the available data quality tools out there, and who have used the tools for years. From postal processes like NCOA to sophisticated customer data integration techniques that take advantage of large databases retaining multiple name/address versions, there are proven techniques that you can employ to get your data updated, deduped and as clean as possible.
Let us know if you'd like the white paper that we've developed around using these techniques. Just email us at email@example.com and we'll send it right over. It not only gives an exhaustive overview of the tools, but also provides some "Do's and Don'ts" based on our practical (ouch) experiences working with the various processes and vendors in the industry.