Marketing Data Checklist: 5 Steps to Ensure Quality and Protection
Marketing has become data-driven both in terms of automation and strategic messaging. The five-step data quality checklist ensures the quality of information you possess and sensitive data protection.
As businesses learned more about their customers and track their engagement across their brand, the sources of data have multiplied.
With that proliferation of data, it’s become an increasingly complex task to ensure its quality, and the sheer quantity of customer data has made storing and processing more complex.
For marketing data to make the most impact on your business, its quality and effectiveness need to be maximized as ever-larger data pools are collected.
In this article, we’ll help you ensure your marketing data is both secure and effective.
Choose the Best Data Sources
Marketing data comes from many channels today. Most data sources derive from your customers interacting with your brand.
- You might collect data from social media feeds and profiles, surveys delivered to customer email addresses, or traffic logs from your website.
- There are also traditional data sources like third-party data purchases and customer purchasing history.
- You might even include foot traffic data gathered by mobile apps in brick-and-mortar stores while your customer’s shop.
While these various sources of data can allow you to piece together a fuller picture of your customer’s preferences and behavior, they often duplicate each other.
Some sources of the same data may be more reliable or complete than others.
It’s important to evaluate your data streams and carefully choose between them when creating a collection process.
A periodic review of those data sources is also necessary because nothing on the internet stays the same for long. Platform and customer habit changes can cause a solid data source to become less reliable.
Double-Check Your Data Quality
For building a modern marketing campaign, the customer relationship data you leverage needs to be accurate and appropriate to your messaging.
For example, if you plan to automate personalized messages, you must ensure that your data is accurate and that the fields you need are available for all your customers.
It’ll be necessary to check data quality and evaluate your sources for accuracy and completeness before automated campaigns go live.
Data trustworthiness is needed to avoid the technical errors that happen when collected data becomes contaminated with repetitions, mismatched fields, or missing data.
A good place to start when these problems arise is to investigate your methods of tracking customer data.
Automated tracking methods have better consistency and will save you the time you would waste on manually spot-checking large data pools.
It’ll also alert you to data quality problems before they make it into your live marketing campaigns.
Build CRM and Segmentation Models
The value of marketing data takes a dive when you aren’t able to analyze it for larger trends within your market.
To fashion effective marketing campaigns, you must create a segmentation model that fits your customers and business.
Customer relationship management applications typically include these advanced features, but they aren’t suited to every business model or product.
One problem that often impedes a business’s ability to build an accurate market segmentation model is decentralized customer data.
For it to be effective for planning and decision-making, you’ll need all your customer data in one central repository that can then be analyzed with your favorite market segmentation app.
Protect Your Data
Marketing data value grows each year as it continues to unlock new insights and personalized messaging techniques.
As your customer base and history grow, so will your trove of collected marketing data.
Protecting that data from potential loss becomes more complex as it finds its way into many business applications, and its sheer volume can make backups time-consuming and expensive.
Marketing data and customer relationship profiles need to be included in your company’s continuity planning.
Potential disasters both natural and human can cause power outages, destruction of storage devices, or a brand-damaging release of personal information.
Planning for these foreseeable events can make the difference between a quick recovery and business failure.
Integrate Data and Decisions
Perhaps the hardest challenge in today’s data-driven market is discovering exactly what data means and forming actionable conclusions from it.
The sheer volume of data can overwhelm without a good analytical app to make sense of it.
That’s a good first step, but the next steps are more subtle.
Reports can easily be generated once you have your data feed passing through a CRM or other marketing tool that can analyze it.
The real accomplishment, however, is integrating that analysis into your decision-making process effectively.
Data analysts and decision-makers often sit at different wings of business. Decisions will improve if these two groups of colleagues invest the time needed to integrate their work.
Decision-makers can help analysts understand the insights they are interested in discovering, and analysts can provide a more in-depth understanding when given time at the table to present it.
When your marketing operation can find a happy medium between these two concerns, it’s effectiveness will grow measurably.
Data Quality Leads to Success
The flood of customer data sources and powerful marketing tools that leverage them have ushered in a new era of digital branding.
It’s easier than ever to reach targeted audiences and connect with established customers on a personal level thanks to social media platforms.
The technical problems that can result from poor data quality can hamper these efforts and turn this asset into a liability.
To manage your customer data and marketing campaigns effectively, you must start from your data sources and build a rigorous process from the collection point to the decision maker’s desk.
If you evaluate your data sources, monitor their quality, built insightful market segments, protect your data stores, and integrate data analysis into your decisions, you’ll run a more successful marketing program.
Author bio: Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and an ultimate techie. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, this incurable tech junkie devours the news on the latest gadgets and binge-watches his favorite TV shows. Follow him at @bmorepeters