The Importance of Data Quality in #TheNewNormal
While technology tools are incredibly valuable, they are only as good as the data they contain. Without good data quality you face a number of challenges including:
- Communication is challenging: If you can’t reach your target audiences and communicate with clients and prospects, your marketing efforts will be less effective.
- Events are ineffective: When invitations don’t reach the right audiences, you can’t connect with the right contacts and end up wasting time and money.
- Technology adoption plummets: If your systems are littered with duplicative, dated data, users won’t participate, and your technology investments will be wasted.
- Coordination is difficult: Unless everyone in your organization is working from the same data, it’s difficult to coordinate sales or business development efforts and activities. When the left hand (or department) doesn’t know what the right is doing, it can affect your organization’s reputation.
- Client service suffers: Data is essential to enable you to understand what your customers or clients want and anticipate their needs.
- Competitive advantage is lost: If your organization is not concerned about data, you risk falling behind your competition, because they are definitely focused on it.
- Opportunities for new business are missed: Only by continually connecting with existing customers, clients and prospects can you find opportunities for new business. Without good data, these connections can be elusive.
- Costs of compliance increase: Global and regional data privacy rules and regulations such as CASL, GDPR and CCPA are increasing, and the costs for failure to comply can be significant. These types of laws require organizations to properly handle and maintain current data on contacts in order to honor their requests for information and prevent inappropriate communications.
Additionally, to ensure that they receive value and returns on technology investments, firms also need to be sure that their data is clean, correct and complete. Complete company records should contain, at a minimum, the organization’s name, address, phone and website information. Complete contact records for people should typically contain their full name, company name, job title and email address. You may also want to include enhanced information such as a phone numbers and physical addresses, which were once considered superfluous with the demise of postal “snail” mail, but have recently regained prominence because of their necessity for compliance with global privacy regulations.
Additionally, to better target communications and business development efforts now and in the post-Covid-19 era, records should be enhanced with additional information and classifications. For instance, company records could be tagged with information related to their industry, size, revenue and number of employees. Person contacts can be designated as clients, prospects, referral sources or competitors, among other things. This type of segmentation will allow you to more easily group contacts and create lists by interests, roles, locations or other key criteria to ensure that your audience receives information and invitations that are relevant to their needs.
For additional information on some of the most helpful ways to categorize contacts, download our Contact Categorization Worksheet created after working together with hundreds of top firms and other organizations. Next we’ll focus on one of the most critical areas of marketing and business development success: Resources…