Data is a shockingly underused resource in the modern business world. Despite the fact that most businesses collect it in some fashion, a mere 39% of them are actually making use of their contact data in a productive way. Part of the reason for this may be that this data is not of sufficient quality to be helpful. This is, of course, a tremendous waste. This resource holds incredible potential, and while it does require some active intervention to render it useful, getting your data quality in line up-front sure to pay off.
The 5 Great Benefits Your Peers Are Having From Quality Contact Data
If you can get your contact data quality up to acceptable levels and keep things that way over time, you’ll enjoy…
It goes without saying that if you can cut costs somewhere, you should. Bad data comes with a lot of hidden costs that may be taking a massive chunk out of your potential profits. It’s estimated that mistakes regarding simple things like duplicate contact entries and misspelt addresses could be costing companies between 10-25% of their revenue each year; recovering these funds could make a huge difference in many organizations’ overall viability. You’ll never eliminate mistakes entirely, but making an effort to promote good data quality will help to cut down on them considerably.
Another way that good data quality can help you reduce your costs is by making it possible to cut some unnecessary expenses. One large expense that many companies are still shouldering is the cost of direct mailing. You need to get your business communications and marketing materials out somehow, but physically mailing correspondence out to your contacts is expensive; it’s estimated to cost about 100 times as much as email does. Using email instead can bring that cost dramatically without losing much in terms of sales performance. Since email addresses typically change more often than physical addresses do, however, doing this requires much more vigilance with regards to data quality. You’ll need to perform regular checks and updates on your contact profiles in order to ensure that your messages are being delivered correctly.
Aside from lowering expenses, 44% of marketers are also looking to increase their revenue, and high-quality data is the way to do it. Good contact data is organized and elaborate enough to paint a very clear picture of what kind of customers or leads a business currently has. With enough of it, you can break your contact database down by age, location, income, education level, or any other criteria of your choosing. You’ll know exactly what type of person is buying from you and what they look for in a product.
Armed with this knowledge, you’ll find out things about your company you might never have suspected would be true. Perhaps you have many more local customers than you thought and would benefit from leveraging that fact in your marketing. Maybe the opposite is true. These kinds of patterns can be uncovered with the right kind of high-quality data, and they all have implications that may call for adjusting your business strategy somewhat. You may be able to target a different segment of the market, get your existing customers to buy more from you, or break into an untapped niche with a lot of potential for growth. Wherever your data leads you, it only makes sense to follow.
Stronger, More Confident Decision-Making
It might be okay to decide where to go for lunch by flipping a coin, but steering a business in the right direction calls for a more evidence-based approach. However, what happens if that evidence is faulty? A full 84% of CEOs are concerned that their organization might not have the top-quality data they need to confidently make important decisions – and when many of those decisions involve game-changing pivots that affect the entire company, that’s a huge problem. Poor contact data quality will make it impossible to identify what your actual leads and customers are like, making it difficult to cater to their wants and needs.
If, on the other hand, you take care to keep your data quality high at all times, you’ll never have to doubt the conclusions you come to based on the data itself; it will always be a faithful representation of reality. A leader can then use it to confidently decide on the most sensible potential paths for the business to take in the future, feeling assured that the choices they make will be effective because there is a clear and logical rationale behind them. It also makes it much easier to justify allocating more resources to making the change without having to worry as much about keeping a backup option available, thereby further increasing the chances of success.
Test Your Knowledge: What data-related business improvements can be implemented to increase revenues by approximately 14.5%?
Less Wasted Time
Think about it: how often do you find yourself consulting your records? Whether you’re reaching out to someone, sending out a new round of marketing materials, or performing analytics, you’ll need to consult that data many times to get anything done. Sorting through records that don’t make immediate sense adds another time-consuming step to everything you do.
This is obviously an annoying complication to deal with, but its effects reach even further than that. Not only can all this wasted time lead to trouble with morale among staff members, it also takes time away from other things they could be doing instead. Allocating too many of the finite work hours in a day for non-productive tasks practically guarantees that the productive portions will suffer eventually. Staying on top of your data quality management tasks reduces the toll that bad data takes and frees up staff members’ time for things that will actually propel the business forward instead of just keeping it steady.
Increased Customer Satisfaction
A business can only become profitable if it can consistently convince people to buy from it. A great product is often not quite enough to do this; you also need to provide excellent customer service and a pleasant buying experience. Companies that operate efficiently make fewer mistakes and can consistently deliver on their promises to their customers. Whether this means getting a shipment out on time or responding to an inquiry promptly and thoroughly, good data quality is what makes this possible. It keeps everything cohesive and organized, minimizing customer-side annoyances like having to repeat the same information over and over again during any dealings they have with the company or waiting twice the usual amount of time to receive their order because their recorded address was incorrect.
Paying constant attention to your data quality also sets the stage for highly specific marketing tactics that are targeted to each consumer. 66% of marketing data is currently being used to craft targeted offers and marketing that line up precisely with what each individual wants to see. This not only drives higher revenues as described above but also tends to lead to happier customers. If someone knows that they can get what they need by shopping at a particular place, that’s where they’ll go. They’ll often become the repeat customers that make up the most dependable portion of revenues, forging a symbiotic relationship that benefits you both. You won’t be able to do this without quality data that tells a clear and consistent story from beginning to end.
Easier Adoption of Automation Technology
While this may be a less direct result of good data quality, it’s important to mention because of its tremendous potential impact. Marketing automation tools are a godsend for businesses that need high-end marketing performance but can’t afford to pay very much to get it. It’s fairly inexpensive on its own and does not need much human input to work its magic, making it accessible to even the humblest of companies. With this tool in your back pocket, marketing becomes an easier job that still produces more revenue than doing things the hard way – 14.5% more on average, to be precise. Many of these tools will also help you generate additional data for your contacts, such as purchase history and webpage interactions. This extra information can be used to open up all kinds of new possibilities for any company, and because it’s tracked automatically, it is almost always extremely accurate and of sufficient quality to be put to use right from the start.
To get access to these things, though, you’ll need good quality data in your established contact profiles. This ensures that the software has an accurate starting point from which to begin. If anything is off in these initial stages, it won’t have the context it needs to carry out its operations, and it will inevitably malfunction. From there, you simply have to keep those data quality standards up to keep the software running smoothly.
Follow Your Data All the Way to the Top
Anyone of these six things would be a significant boon to a company on their own, but together, their impact can be massive. That’s why contact data quality management is a professional duty that can never be overlooked. Without good data quality in your contact database, you will never achieve the sales numbers that would otherwise be firmly within your grasp. It’s a basic, fundamental part of any business, and the sooner you take care of it, the sooner you’ll see the improvements that will follow.
Test Your Knowledge: How much is any one company’s entire set of data archives worth?
You’ll find the answer to this question in our next post when we continue to delve into the importance of good data in the business world – subscribe now and make sure that you can read it as soon as it becomes available.