Effective marketing — high quality data ingredients

Looking at the numbers, big data can be a daunting proposition. Every single day, more than 5,000 times the amount of data held by all the books in the UK’s libraries is created online. For those too young to remember books, that’s more than 2,500 years of HD video. It’s enough to give marketers indigestion.

But if we look at these figures slightly differently, big data becomes far more palatable. In the UK alone, more than half of all households have three or more connected devices. Connectivity means that modern customers are generating vast amounts of information about themselves.

And this data is a priceless resource for any organisation that identifies, collects, analyses and then harnesses it to business objectives. By using this data intelligently, we can engage with individuals and not just ‘audiences’. Now we can personalise engagements for intelligent interaction and powerful returns on marketing investment.

But where to begin? As with any great dish, success depends both on the quality of your ingredients and the time you take to prepare them.

Step 1:
The first task is to audit your current data quality status. Knowing where you are starting from is the critical first step in getting to where you want to be.

Step 2:
Identify the types of data that drive your marketing and business needs. Taking time here will pay dividends. Think about the data collected from websites, for example — are the numbers of visits enough, or should you be thinking about tracking page usage and page optimisation too?

Step 3:
Knowing this allows you to prioritise the effective collection of your most valuable data. For example, use automated real time verification solutions when collecting critical customer information — such as postcode, email and mobile contacts— so records are authenticated at point of collection.

Step 4:
With accurate information coming in, you must now cleanse your databases regularly. The information held on databases does have a sell-by date and you need to ensure that the information they hold remains as fresh, accurate and up-to-date as possible.

Step 5:
Now you can trust your data and make the links that turn disparate data records into powerful marketing resources, such as a single customer view (SCV). Marketers understand, for example, that the is the same Lucy Bloggs who gets a catalogue by post, tweets about brands as @labloggsie purchases products from the website and in-store.

In my next blog, I’ll explore how we can mix these ingredients to deliver greater customer insight and targeted communications for richer and more relevant customer engagement. Yum!



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