Data Management Techniques You Should Be Using
Data is the cornerstone of any Marketing activity. It allows you to understand your customers so you can identify new opportunities. It saves your Sales and Marketing budgets by allowing you to put the right message to the right audiences and build profitable relationships, and so much more. Connecting you with your potential buyers and managing your everyday customer interactions, data has become the heart of every business. As such it is more important than ever to ensure that your data is fresh, insightful and capable of supporting your every business need.
Techniques such as Auditing, Segmenting, Profiling and Propensity Modelling are key elements to the data management process, some of which are often overlooked, but they shouldn’t be. Below we list out the top data management techniques you should be using, challenging you on whether these are already in your portfolio, or if your to-do list should receive a few more items. These techniques are pivotal to marketing success, and help you to focus on getting the most from your data driven campaigns, by protecting the investment you’ve made in acquiring said data.
Audit & Analysis:
A data audit is the key to understanding your data, so you can easily see if what you have is a) what you need and b) up to date. These services highlight the gaps in your data, as well as provide overviews of what your data looks like and its potential capabilities. Ensuring that your data is both up to date and also provides you with the right material to take your message to market is vital to any marketing initiative. The marketing department is expected to produce campaigns targeted at bringing in new business leads for the sales team to pursue, which is often negatively affected by bad data.
Data has become one of the biggest blocks to success for marketing departments, even if not always recognised. It is therefore of upmost importance for any savvy marketer to take the first steps with their data by working out what they have and what they can do to maximise the returns from their initiatives. By Auditing and analysing your data you gain valuable insights such as % of data completion, missing information required for personalisation & advanced segmentation, validity of email and telephone numbers and so much more. Do yourself a favour, and audit your data regularly, the feedback you get just might be the missing element you never knew your strategy had.
Cleanse & Enhancement:
A cleansing or enhancing exercise is the most common next step companies take after reviewing and auditing their data. By seeing how many different pieces of information are missing from their marketing data, as well as the bounce rates that they are seeing from their email lists, marketers often reach out to either their internal marketing / data teams, or external agencies for assistance in quickly cleansing their databases of old contacts and enhancing them with additional market intelligence and contacts.
Overall these programmes are designed to ensure that your data is up to date, and that you have the right fields to segment your data for personalisation in the messages your campaigns take to market. By undertaking a cleansing and enhancement exercise on your data you can really see the dramatic results through the increased effectiveness of your internal and outsourced marketing campaigns. This is most notably seen through a dramatic reduction in email bounce rates as well as an increase in both delivery & response rates.
Segmentation allows you to reduce costs by aligning specific products and services according to audience, so you can be sure that you are contacting the right people with the right message. Modern email marketing providers like Campaign Connex often provide the tools for marketers to undertake these type of services within the tools they offer, as a value-add service, particularly as doing so is essential to being able to send personalised email campaigns to subscribers.
Whether for personalised email campaigns or other marketing / sales purposes, Segmentation allows you to refine your messages and apply a more personalised digital or human approach. This ensures that data can be split across a variety of campaign types / products / sales agents depending on their purpose, strengths, geographical presence or industry know-how. The bottom line is that splitting up your data into workable pieces allows for truly targeted messages to resonate louder with your audience, and as such it is a great way to see higher returns from your marketing in a short timeframe.
Profiling & Data Insight:
These programmes / techniques are specifically designed to help you gain insight into customer behaviour in order to identify new market and product opportunities, increase market share and gain the market intelligence needed to create competitive advantage. By learning who your customers are, what their preferences are, identifying trends in their buying patterns and more, you can begin to understand your customers on a whole new level. With that information under your belt, you can use what you have learnt to engage with your customers and prospects on a deeper level and retain / attain their business more fluidly.
Whether undertaken digitally, through human telephone contact or through rigorous desk research, profiling exercises can provide vital market insights that are key to creating and refining both short and long term marketing strategies. So whether you are looking to take your company in a new direction, are launching a new product, or simply need more information upon which to base your decisions, why not undertake a profiling exercise to help fill in some blanks and inform your decision making process? Whether done in-house or through agencies, these types of exercises can produce fast results, with wide reaching positive consequences.
Sourcing the right data for your marketing needs is pivotal to any successful marketing programme. With 91% of marketing departments wasting budget on inaccurate or poorly targeted data lists, sometimes sourcing new data is the best option available. That said, acquiring / sourcing data for marketing purposes can be a nightmare. With so many different criteria to review and suppliers to engage with, the logistics alone can be too much for some people. Equally, the complexities associated with very specific target markets can be difficult to articulate and often data purchasers come away feeling that their data is not fit for purpose.
Despite the difficulties involved in data acquisition however, it is a vital part of any marketing strategy. Whether you are looking to purchase new data lists for email purposes, or are looking for organic list building through online forms, sourcing data for your campaigns can be tricky. It is therefore key to ensure that the responsible party for data acquisition is not only briefed on the planned methodology of data sourcing, but is also clued in on the requirements for the data. Are you looking into specific sectors, specific geographies, job functions, job levels? Whatever criteria you have for defining your ideal persona, this information should be used to form an acquisition plan / strategy, so as to ensure the success of the exercise.
The final technique I would like to draw your attention to is Propensity Modelling. Perhaps the most difficult of all of the data management techniques highlighted on this list, but one that provides great benefits when undertaken correctly. This technique involves an audit and analysis of your existing customer database, tracking habits, sizes of companies, locations, job functions, budget sizes, previous spending habits and more to build a data driven profile of your ideal or perfect customer.
This profile is then applied to a larger database of prospective customers to help create a focus point showing you the most likely candidates to convert into sales, as well as highlighting steps you should be taking towards these customers in order to ensure conversion. Overall this technique / service is designed to help plan future marketing strategies by optimising ROI from your future marketing campaigns. Based on your own bespoke specific criteria, the results of propensity modelling will help you to understand what your next target customers should “look” like and where to focus your new business efforts.
So what about you? Does your data to-do list need updating? Are you already covering these techniques as part of your data management portfolio? What about any others? We’d love to hear from you with your thoughts and comments, so please feel free to sound off in the comments section below with your feedback, or reach out to us via twitter – www.twitter.com/campaignconnex
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