Data management begins by setting the proper processes

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Rick Miller
Rick Miller

For many years, the phrase "garbage in, garbage out" has been associated with data processing and database management. To address this ongoing issue, marketers continually look for innovative ways to improve the overall quality and accuracy of their databases in order to produce a measurable impact.

If you are considering building or updating your database, consider these issues first:

  • Address and data quality. Marketers should develop, implement and adhere to address and data quality methodologies. They can improve deliverability, decrease undeliverable mail and increase response rates by utilizing US Postal Service products, in addition to proprietary data management solutions.
  • "Best kept record" scoring. A custom scoring algorithm is developed that takes the deliverability of the address, transactional data such as RFM, and other variables into account. When duplicate records are identified, marketers can ensure, based on the pre-assigned scores that the "best" and most actionable records are kept within their database.

  • Promotion history and channel optimization. Capturing promotion history allows marketers to identify previously non-responsive records based on the number of times an offer has been sent to an individual. For example, if you identify that a particular individual or household was contacted in three consecutive campaigns but they still have not completed a purchase, you might want to suppress this record from future efforts, try a different channel or temporarily suspend promotions.

  • Business address 
profiling. B-to-b marketers have a unique challenge with the inherent poor address standards of business data files. Products exist that use proprietary data tables and other resources to "swap and move" contact names, titles, company names and address fields to their correct location within a record, resulting in more accurate data.

  • Company penetration. This will help control the number of marketing communications going to a specific business. Through advanced record-linking technologies, marketers can identify unique employees, as well as group these employees at the company level, identifying the total number of unique contacts within a company.

  • Compiled suppression files. Utilization of files such as DMA Pander, Do Not Call, Deceased Files and others allows marketers to flag and suppress records from their database marketing efforts.
Rick Miller is SVP of the Creative Automation Company. Reach him at

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