Using accurate data to create a single customer view

Marketers everywhere try to better understand their customer base in order to provide more targeted messaging and drive higher conversion rates. To achieve this goal, marketing departments are implementing a host of new solutions.

First, marketers use data appends to add demographic information to accounts. A recent Experian QAS research report showed that 63% of organizations currently use a tool or service to append demographic information. These appends provide additional intelligence with data ranging from household income to the number of family members at an address.

Marketers have also implemented more sophisticated data monitoring practices and technologies. These enable organizations to review who has purchased their product and responded to specific messaging.

Unfortunately, many of these efforts fall short because the basic information feeding those systems is often incorrect. In particular, inaccurate contact data plagues businesses. The same research mentioned above found that businesses feel that as much as 23% of their databases are inaccurate or incomplete.

Contact data allows messages to reach consumers, but it can also serve as a unique identifier in a database. Duplicates can be identified and removed, and this information can also indicate which accounts should be consolidated for individuals and for families, all of which affects the success of monitoring tools.

Moreover, contact data impacts the data append process. Third-party providers often use it to identify an individual or append demographic intelligence. If contact information is incorrect, the provider may not find a match or, even worse, might append incorrect details to a contact.

While a single customer view is highly desirable to marketers today, it is critical that marketers ensure information accuracy. Otherwise, they may use irrelevant messaging or make incorrect operational decisions.

To prevent these pitfalls from occurring, marketers should go back to IT basics and  consider the accuracy of the raw data in a system before heavily investing in popular technologies. Old information needs updating, but incoming data needs to be verified before it enters the marketing database. These practices will not only improve delivery rates, but also ensure that specific messaging reaches the correct target audience.

Verifying contact details before implementing these new solutions is one way to make certain new efforts don’t start off on the wrong track.

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