Managing Customer Data in 2016

Data is the cornerstone of an effective marketing strategy. Marketers can use it to help find new customers, improve retention, better understand shoppers’ needs, increase customer value.

Despite all the potential benefits that data can provide marketers, inaccurate data often undermines their ability to provide an excellent customer experience. In fact, according to a recent report by Experian Data Quality, 75% of the more than 1,400 customer service, data, marketing, sales, and technology professionals surveyed say this is an issue they face. Although 84% of respondents say that they believe data to be an integral part of forming a business strategy, a high degree of inaccurate data seems to be wreaking havoc on everything from plans to profits.

Ninety-seven percent of U.S. professionals polled want a complete view of their company’s customers. Too often, however, data becomes dirty at the point of collection. The study shows that the most common channels to collect customer data are email (63%), websites (62%), in-person locations (47%), call centers (47%), social media (29%), and mobile apps (27%).

The main problems respondents say they have are incomplete or missing data (60%), outdated information (54%), duplicate data (51%), inconsistent data (37%), and typos (30%). More than half of those surveyed say they attribute these data errors to human mistakes. Lack of technological know-how is a major factor in all of the errors.

With those challenges in mind, the need for data management is at the fore for many marketers. Not surprisingly, those surveyed said that over the next year, data cleansing (37%), data integration (37%), data migration (31%), and data enrichment (31%) are the data management projects for their teams.

Here are some of the other findings in the study:

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