Acquiring customer data and maintaining its validity is no easy task.
Many marketers invest precious time and money on expanding their customer databases – completely unaware, however, of the data decay that is going on right under their noses. The truth is that when you’re managing customer data, whether it’s a small or large database, data degradation is a common occurrence. And it can be devastating to marketers who are working hard in maintaining the integrity and accuracy of their database.
While CRM solutions and other types of software can be an incredibly useful tool, they’re not exactly designed to keep customer profiles from decaying over time.
Let’s take a closer look at how Pursuit Marketing avoids data decay.
What is Data Degradation?
Essentially, data degradation refers to the ongoing, or gradual, data loss that occurs within a database, CRM, or marketing automation system. There are two main types of data loss that marketers tend to experience: mechanical and logical data decay. Both groups are pivotal factors in a scenario where businesses want to monetise data.
The mechanical form of data decay is essentially data loss due to unforeseen events and circumstances. It’s a fairly well known form of data loss among organisations that deal with large amounts of digital information. Servers crashing, corrupted hard disks, and other forms of hardware damage may cause data loss and leave you unable to access your CRM records. This can be a terrifying experience – and especially these days where most organisations rely heavily on digital customer profiles.
Although a mechanical data loss is both unfortunate and scary, there is only one clear solution to the problem: backups. It’s absolutely imperative that you have a comprehensive and up-to-date backup of all your sensitive data, from customer profiles to legal documents.
The other form of data degradation is logical data loss – and this is the main concern of this article. Firstly, it’s important to realise that data decay due to logical reasons is inevitable. Have you ever reached out to a contact and found that the number you have on them is no longer valid? Ever visited a brick-and-mortar store only to find that they’ve moved to a new location? This is what is known as logical data decay.
This happens because data – especially customer profiles and contact information – is time sensitive. Logical data decay occurs daily, and – most of the time – people don’t even realise it’s happening.
Let’s take a quick example of this.
According to a 2014 study by the Ministry of Manpower , the monthly recruitment rate and reassignment rate in the UK, based on rough estimates, is around 2%. However, if you look closely at the numbers, you can expect that roughly 4.5% of your email list to experience a job change. Based on this example alone, there is already a significant amount of data decay in your database. Now, this example does not include other factors that can cause data degradation, such as
Offices moving to a new location
Professionals changing contact numbers
Businesses shutting down
All of these can contribute to the slow and steady decay of any CRM data and B2B data lists.
The Importance of Preventing Customer Data Decay
Most modern businesses find themselves in an increasingly competitive market, regardless of their industry.
The competitive environment in the online realm is especially felt by smaller businesses and startups. To counteract this, many companies attempt to dip their toes in list buying – a process that enables you to quickly acquire leads and customer contact information. In addition to the highly competitive nature of today’s online and traditional business environments, consumer behavior and buying habits are slowly changing as well, which makes it all the more crucial to ensure a healthy and up-to-date marketing database.
With this kind of competition, it would be an awful mistake to launch a marketing campaign that essentially targets the wrong people—or worse, a non-existent audience. Unfortunately, this is exactly what you will be doing with customer data that is suffering from serious decay.
It’s therefore imperative for businesses to have an accurate and up-to-date view of their customer base.
How to Keep Customer Data Decay Away
For most businesses, the job of maintaining and updating contact information falls on the sales team. These days, however, this is no longer a sufficient approach. Rather, data integrity checks and verification are crucial tasks that needs to be taken seriously by your company.
The first step in preventing data decay is to audit the data quality of your customer database. Once the bad data and inaccurate information has been permanently removed from your database, you can begin implementing preventive measures such as contact data verification.
Contact data verification is most effective when it’s performed prior to the new data reaching your CRM database. This will ensure that bad data doesn’t dilute or mess up your healthy contact information database.
The next step is to conduct regular customer information health checks. By routinely doing contact data health checks, you can help maintain a healthy CRM database that is both accurate, optimised and up-to-date.
To further enhance the integrity of your customer data you can choose to centralise your data cleansing process. This approach will allow you to isolate bad information and deliver only the clean data to the systems that uses it. Once you’ve implemented a few preventive measures to ensure a clean and healthy customer database, you can sync your clean data across multiple platforms by using reliable data integration solutions, data management systems, or your basic API synchronization process.
Work with Pursuit Marketing
If you’re planning to run a Direct Marketing campaign, or looking for reliable and accurate target data, Pursuit Marketing can deliver detailed lists of relevant contacts tailored to your specific sector or demographic.
With our help, you can refine who you are targeting in order to get the optimal results for your campaign. Let’s talk about how Pursuit Marketing can help you!