Well-Managed Data Enables Data-Driven Decisions (Part 1)
Customers suffer from it, sales managers wince at it, and marketers fear it — poorly-managed data. Poorly managed data can cause a plethora of problems for the marketing team and the entire organization as a whole. In fact, poorly-managed data costs businesses over $600 billion per year! From ineffective campaigning to negative customer experiences, bad data is just plain bad for business.
Your marketing strategies and future planning could be bolstered in credibility and clarity with well-managed data backing it up. An anecdotal guess or well-intentioned choice could be the wrong one — so why not let the data tell you? In this article, we’re discussing how well-managed data enables marketers to make data-driven decisions to further boost their campaigns and strategies to drive revenue.
What is Data-Driven Decision Making?
Data-driven decision-making is a strategy where data, metrics, and analytics, drive key marketing decisions. For example, imagine you’re developing an email campaign for a bike company focused on promoting the newest men’s mountain bike. Instead of guessing which contacts in your CRM would want to learn more about the bike, take a look at historic content engagement analytics to see which of your contacts were previously interested in men’s mountain bikes. For instance, CRM software like HubSpot, can show marketers all the contacts who previously downloaded your infographic on the anatomy of a men’s mountain bike. Odds are, these contacts would be pretty interested to learn about the latest mountain bike on the market. With this knowledge at hand, you can specifically target the campaign to that subset of people.
From here, take into consideration previous email campaigns for product launches and what made some of them successful, and what made others fail. Next, refer to the data from previous successful campaigns to replicate what worked well. For example, maybe using a joke in the subject line is key to getting this particular audience to open an email. Then, take note of where previous campaigns fell short and avoid the techniques that garnered the lowest results. For instance, maybe the subject line included too many exclamation points, causing the email to go directly to spam folders. Ultimately, it’s best to let the data guide your future marketing campaigns to ensure success.
Where and When in Your Marketing Strategy is Well-Managed Data Helpful?
Well-managed data housed cleanly in your CRM will enable smart personalization tactics throughout your campaigns. With accurate and up-to-date data, you’ll have confidence in knowing how to properly segment your database based on characteristics like persona, industry, job title, or other relevant demographics. From here, you'll be able to thoughtfully position tailored messaging to resonate with each group. Then, if you have the right mechanisms in place to also capture behavioral statistics around contact engagement, you can really make data-driven decisions about future campaigns, ads, and messages.
Let’s continue with our bike company example. Say you want to create a campaign for your upcoming annual sale of 20% off your entire online store. In order to present the most relevant products to the right contacts, your segmented lists based on previous behavioral engagement need to be up to date. This way, you're prepared to only send the email showcasing a top-selling women’s bike to those in your database who are most likely to purchase a woman’s bike. Meanwhile, all other contacts will receive different emails tailored to their relevant characteristics and behaviors.
Essentially, in every aspect of your marketing strategy and overall buyer’s journey, well-managed and up-to-date data is crucial for campaign success. If your data is unkempt, you are at a serious disadvantage which can result in even your most loyal customers leaving your business for a competitor. Let’s take a look at how dirty data affects your marketing efforts and overall business.
What Happens If Your Data Is Dirty?
Dirty data is data that is inaccurate, inconsistent, or incomplete. As a matter of fact, dirty data contributes to wasting resources and money, decreasing productivity, and failing to foster good communication within the marketing team. It’s estimated that in the United States, 27% of revenue is wasted on collecting inaccurate and incomplete customer data. As a matter of fact, 54% of businesses report their biggest marketing data management challenges as data quality and level of completeness.
So what exactly happens if your data is dirty? Dirty data can throw off entire campaigns and foster substandard performance and results. For instance, your customers will be likely to experience (to name just a few):
- Defective personalization
- Irrelevant ads
- Negative user experience
Plus, an organization is bound to experience the following due to poorly-managed data:
- Increased rate of hard email bounces
- Increased unsubscribes caused by sending the wrong content to the wrong persona
- A decline in credibility
- Lower email open-rates
- Lower email click-through rates
- Lost productivity
- Wasted marketing spend and resources
Well-Managed Data Helps Determine the Success of Your KPIs
It’s no surprise that data-driven decisions garnered from well-managed data will positively influence your KPIs. For example, a KPI such as an email open rate will garner much higher results when using well-managed data. The right content will be delivered to the right audience at the right time based on accurate and relevant data.
Consider for a minute the customer acquisition cost KPI. This metric depicts the amount of money it takes to convert a lead into a customer. With dirty data, these results can be all over the place. How will you know if you’re spending too little or too much money acquiring your customers if you don’t have accurate data? On the contrary, well-managed data will yield precise results that show the marketing team exactly how much money they spend obtaining new customers from ad spend, email campaigning, and other forms of outreach.
Now, think about your inbound leads. According to the Harvard Business Review, approximately 47% of new data collected by businesses has one or more critical errors. If you’re collecting inaccurate lead information right off the bat, your CRM is basically useless and any time spent on a marketing campaign or strategy is wasted. Therefore, it’s crucial to conduct data hygiene checkups regularly to ensure your database is current and accurate.