It’s your biggest time of the year. The super bowl for your industry, and you and your team are firing on all cylinders. Your ad agency came up with a killer campaign and you’re ready to deliver it to your customers and prospects to drive them back to your site to make that purchase.
You give your team your best “take it away!” scream to give the green light and get the show on the road! Now it’s time to sit back and watch customers arrive in droves to buy your amazing product, right? Wrong.
You wait. And you wait. Why isn’t anyone coming? You’ve delivered the greatest campaign you and your team have ever come up with. (You even gave each other literal pats on the back.) So, where is everyone? You ask your team to find out what’s going on. They toss, they turn, they dig. But then, the light bulb goes off: No one checked the data.
You had the data list pulled from your demand gen team a month ago—but your CRM data has not been refreshed in a while. As a result, your message was only successfully delivered to 20% of that list. The other 80% have no idea about your latest and greatest product. And they may never will (sound the horror movie music).
But, this all could have been prevented if you had had the proper procedures in place to ensure you had the right data, automatically.
The Truth About Targeting
As marketers, we spend millions of dollars to reach prospects and turn them into customers. Whether it’s through online marketing, direct mail, or email blasts, we’re constantly trying to reach our target audiences. And it goes without saying that we don’t want these efforts to go to waste.
But do we have the right steps in place to capture the correct data on these coveted individuals? And are we ensuring that the data we collect is current? And what do we do once we’ve collected it? How will we know we’ve correctly identified the particular individual in question?
Questions like these highlight why it’s important for us to identify customers and prospects as best we can the moment they show interest in our product, service, or company. Not doing so will not only result in wasted resources but can also hinder our messages from getting to our intended audience.
The real question is: Why is it so hard to identify customers and prospects? The reason is change. On a daily basis, thousands of people change their phone numbers, mailing addresses, email addresses… and even their names! To keep up with these constant changes, you need to make sure you have the right tools in place to track and capture them and then separate what’s accurate from what’s not. This is why it’s imperative for your CRM data to be of the highest quality, which means having high quality identity data. How can you ensure you have high quality identity data? Here are two steps to getting there:
Step 1: Identify and Verify
Once you capture identifying data, you need to ensure that it’s relevant and correct. Bad data can have you spinning your wheels, wasting time and money on marketing that will never reach the intended recipient. Name, phone number, mailing address, email address—it’s all information you should be capturing and then verifying for authenticity. This is also the first step in helping you create the right profile for your customer so that later on you’ll be able to deliver targeted and personalized messages and offers. Is Jimmy Smith really at 215 Mockingbird Lane? Or is he at 45 Third Street? You need to ensure you have the right steps in place to identify and verify exactly where he is, before entering this information into your database. Remember—it’s better to have no data than incorrect data.
Step 2: Cleanse and Append
Next, you need to ensure that your CRM database is up to your standards with complete records. That means you have to cleanse and append: Purge the bad data and replace it with correct information. This includes adding additional information to your database that you might not have had before. For instance, you may have had Mary Johnson’s address, but you did not have her phone number, until now.
Working with an information and analytics company, such as Neustar, can help you integrate robust solutions into your CRM system to ensure that your data is of the highest quality. Capturing the information is half the battle. It’s what you do with that information that’s important. Whether you’re verifying that it’s valid and complete, or you’re appending additional data, you need a partner who can ensure your data is authoritative.
To illustrate, let’s walk through an example. Say you’ve recently moved to New York from Virginia and you call the local cable provider to set up TV service in your new home. Because you call in using your cell phone, the number captured by the cable provider has a Virginia area code. Naturally, an uninformed customer service rep would be caught off guard seeing that number come across.
But with a powerful solution in place that can identify who you are at the time of your call, the service rep could verify and match that information to you as soon as you enter the queue. The solution would also provide any other available and current information that could be associated with you through your phone number. In effect, the service rep would instantly know that though your call originated from a Virginia number, you recently moved to New York, because your new address is now being associated with that phone number.
This is just one example of the various every-day real-life situations where data affects how you communicate. Whether you’re sending out an email, a piece of direct mail, or someone is visiting your web site, your message will only reach its intended recipient if you know the identity of that party. The key that holds all of this together is having identity data that’s correct, complete, and current—data that’s authoritative.
Empower Your Marketing Team With Authoritative Data
Finding a solution to augment your data that integrates with your marketing automation platform can make it much easier to ensure you have authoritative data. A data tool that integrates into your marketing activities will help improve your lead data management by cleansing customer and prospect data in real time by verifying contact information and scoring prospect data. And with that, you’ll connect with many more of the prospects you’re bringing to your door through all of your marketing efforts.
As you’re planning your next campaign, take a step back from the creative. Think about the data. Consider how much better your campaign could perform if your data were the best it could be. Because then you’ll know your message will be received…and that kind of reassurance is priceless!