One of the most important, still most ignored assets of an organization is their data pool. A correct data pool whether of internal or external resources, customers or stakeholders, goes a long way in establishing the health of your organization. For the sales and the marketing departments, data accuracy is directly proportional to the amount of business they are generating. It is therefore extremely important to be on top of your data at all points in time. This is not as easy since the word 'data' itself is loaded with volume. So, how do you achieve it?
Here is a complete guide for you to achieve complete command over your data:
First and foremost is to establish and agree on the need for good quality data pool. Once that is done, the quality, freshness, accuracy and completeness of the data are also parameters that need to be discussed and affixed. In case of a noncompliance, you may end up in a situation where sales and marketing have different definitions of data management, and any faux pas falls in no man's land.
Build Parameters To Check 'Data Health'
For the marketing function, data health would depend on record completeness, email deliverability, phone connectivity and such parameters. Once these are in place, it is the time to map how well these data profiles map with the overarching business strategy. Thereafter, you need to think whether the target group is correct? Or whether the external stakeholders have the required capability to work in tandem with your strategy? Or whether your go-to-market strategy targets the right companies? The team needs to sit and brainstorm in this direction, and should hopefully come up with a 'yes' to all these questions. If any of these aforesaid questions have a negative answer, then it is time to go back to point number 1.
Build Data Cleaning Mechanisms
A clean and organized data source is always more useful than a cluttered one. Remember, if you want to reap benefits from your data or build and analyze trends through data, then it is extremely important to keep it clean and error free. Only then will you be able to get a correct analysis that may lead to correct decision making for your business. During the cleaning process, check for records that are 'desirable' and benchmark the others based on those. This will lead to more focused segmentation of your data. A research from Aberdeen Group has indicated that organizations that actively clean and manage their marketing data for completeness and hygiene of the data are 10x more effective in generating new customers. Isn't this motivation enough to get you started?
Build Data Proactively
There will never be a scenario when you do not need more data sources or new kinds of data. For the business to move on an upward curve, the data points and parameters are bound to keep increasing or changing. Dynamism is the key to a healthy business, and to keep this aspect of your business alive, you will need to explore methods to improve data flow across your marketing channels. Some ways of doing this are to build a standardized drop-down menu to select from on your web forms. Profiling of visitors is another method of adding data. You could also upgrade inbound records by asking for contact and company details of the visitors to your site. Refrain from adding unnecessary fields like 'industry' to keep the detail form short, since the patience and time span of the visitors is limited when it comes to filling such details.
Build A System For Data Management
Like all good habits, data management is also a habit that needs to be built as part of the routine. Marketing data is bound to be dynamic, with new researches, new customers and new business partners emerging almost constantly. Then there are changes like mergers and acquisitions, change of human resources, change of business strategies, etc. At all times, the data should remain in tune with the changes happening around it. This can only be achieved with great discipline and a strict routine of assessing, cleaning and updating the data.
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