Is marketing data quality driven by visions of green?

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Beatriz Santin, director, marketing and product, QAS
Beatriz Santin, director, marketing and product, QAS

Hundreds of articles, webinars and materials have focused in the last few years on how marketers can become more environmentally friendly. While many organizations want to be considered green marketers with a reputation as good stewards of a healthy environment, are green goals really a driving factor behind marketing? Contact data affects many different aspects of marketing, including green initiatives. 


My company recently conducted a global research study to determine how organizations feel about this trend related to contact data quality. Globally, 92% of organizations said that their contact data management practices could be improved to support more environmentally-friendly marketing. 


Organizations in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe appear to have a more vested interest in the trend than those in the US. When organizations were asked how they could improve their data management, the most common responses were to update contacts that had moved and to increase the use of email communications over direct mail. All of these practices can easily be implemented by ensuring the enhancement of a contact database over time. Organizations can run address files against the USPS National Change of Address file to learn when customers or prospects have moved, allowing them to revise outdated information. 


While many marketers feel they can potentially improve their data management practices to become more environmentally-friendly, this is not a driving factor behind why organizations maintain contact data. The main reasons still relate to bottom-line costs, such as improvements to business efficiency and revenue generation. 


However, green marketing practices do affect bottom-line costs. By updating address information as customers move, marketers can ensure that they are not mailing unnecessary communications, but more importantly, that they are ensuring continued communication. 


By improving the accuracy of contact data, businesses are promoting green marketing practices, but they are also reducing overall expenses. While marketing departments are not specifically driven by the environment, creating more efficient practices will still produce a green effect.

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