Data Hygiene

Drowning in Data?

With such a flood of data in this day and age marketing teams can be drowned with the amount of information causing missed opportunities or leading to ineffective or poor business decisions. Mark Twain said it best “Data is like garbage. You’d better know what you are going to do with it before you collect it.”

Customer and Marketing data can have a value equal to garbage unless it’s used correctly. It should be cleaned through proper data hygiene and unified across the myriad of data silos and formats. From there you need to know what you are going to do with it and be able to ask the right questions or make the best queries.

Working with the right solutions partner or having the right tools in place will then allow you to analyze, profile, & model the data to be translated into insights and recommendations.

Those insights can tell you who buys what, how much they buy, the best time they buy, the best channel to reach them in order for them to buy, as well as how to retain them as buyers just to name a few.

Not only will those key customer insights show you who your best customers are but also allow you to allocate your marketing spend to increase return on investment and stay ahead of your competition.

No one really says “hey, that’s some great looking data” but bad data is worse than no data. So like Mark Twain said, you better know what you are going to do with it before you collect it. Otherwise, it’s as good as garbage.

Is Direct Mail Dead?

Since the introduction of email and digital marketing, direct mail marketing has slowly dwindled. Clearly digital marketing is cheaper.

Let’s really take a look at that though. Is it as effective? Is the ROI the same as direct mail?

Here’s a great article we found from Forbes that makes it clear that Direct Mail shouldn’t be ignored.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2017/08/30/why-direct-mail-marketing-is-far-from-dead/#312b2f03311d

As stated in the article, direct mail achieves a 4.4% response rate, compared to 0.12% for email. That’s a substantial difference. The article goes on to talk about the emotional response to physical mail and the feelings people get when anticipating the trip to the mailbox.

So when considering your next campaign, don’t just go to the easy solution of email. We can help you get that next campaign in the mail and increase that response rate.

Remove the Data Silos – Drive the Strategy

In your tenure at a company, how many different software platforms have you been on? For some companies, that’s just 1. But not for most. Most companies transition software platforms as new and better technology comes along.

Data migrations from one platform to another can leave you with incomplete and unmatched data. Typically, part of the data is left in the legacy system never to be used again. But why? What determines what has value and not?

Software transitions are just one of the ways you can end up with silos of data. Today, data can be collected from an assortment of sources. Just think about your web presence for a minute; social media, e-commerce platforms, google analytics, paid search, and more.

What you end up with is silos of data and frankly a big mess. How can you market with intentionality if you don’t have a clear picture of your data? And data should drive strategy. Gone are the days of “spray and pray”. Marketing departments now need to be careful to send the right message to the right customer through the right channel.

So how do you do that? Step one is to get rid of the silos. Unification of data across all platforms is a must. Hygiene and standardization routines are required before any unification. The more sophisticated the hygiene logic, the better the standardization and thus the better the unification.

Once you eliminate the silos, you can use that data to drive your strategy and grow your business.

What do your Consumers Want?

Do you…

  • drive a 1990 Audi station wagon?
  • eat only rice and beans?
  • wear only hand me downs or clothes bought at your local thrift store?
  • only buy furniture at flea markets?
  • live in a van down by the river?

Probably not.

If someone asks you what you want for your birthday do you tell them shampoo or toothpaste?

Maybe, but that would be a rare consumer and a very strong outlier in any data set. And while that consumer wouldn’t require much effort when it comes to marketing strategy your potential and existing customers don’t just purchase the basic necessities to get by. They also purchase what they want.

A good marketing strategy starts with understanding what motivates buyers, allowing them to experience those feelings in advance, and thus creating a desire for them to take action.

How do you tap into that?

A good place to start is with data and lots of it. But, not just any data. There is an explosion of readily available data in this day and age from multiple sources, in multiple formats, and spread across multiple data silos. First, it needs to be cleaned & unified.

From there you need to optimize your data through segmentation, profiling & modeling, and personas while combining spending habits, touch-point behaviors, and other various measures into one single reliable customer view.

This helps create new insights and intelligence that you can add to your campaign execution.

Don’t let your marketing strategy be a one size fits all approach to just spray out a message hoping it will land on someone who will buy. Make it a goal to understand the wants and values of your potential and existing customers. A good place to start is always with clean, unified, and optimized data.


Stay on top of your Data Hygiene

In today’s “Big Data” world most business decisions are data driven but the smart and accurate decisions start with clean data.

Data cleansing or data cleaning is the process of detecting and correcting (or removing) corrupt or inaccurate records from a record set, table, or database and refers to identifying incomplete, incorrect, inaccurate or irrelevant parts of the data and then replacing, modifying, or deleting the dirty or coarse data. (wikipedia)

Having clean data is important in every department across B2C and B2B organizations especially in marketing. Some of those multiple data points are:

  • Address Standardization
  • Address Correction and National Change of Address
  • Email Validation
  • Phone Type Validation (Mobile vs Voip vs LandLine vs Company # vs Direct)
  • Duplicates
  • Missing or incomplete data


Bad data can be worse than no data and lead to problems with cost, wasted employee productivity, and customer distrust. For example:

  • Poor data quality is also hitting organizations where it hurts – to the tune of $15 million as the average annual financial cost (Gartner)
  • 77 percent of companies believe their bottom line is affected by inaccurate and incomplete contact data and on average, respondents believe 12 percent of revenue is wasted. (Experian survey)
  • Bad Data Costs the U.S. $3 Trillion Per Year (Harvard Business Review)

With the increasing volumes of data, data sources, and technology stacks housing siloed data coupled with the increasing need to make better and more informed data-driven decisions it is becoming paramount that organizations stay on top of their data hygiene.