For many business, particularly in the Publishing sector, the accuracy of their customer data is paramount. Having good data hygiene enable companies to improve their customer experience and contact strategy but it can also directly save money. It reduces wastage by maintaining accurate email data and mailing lists; leading to potentially large savings in the case of direct mail.
Data Cleansing takes many forms, whether that be de-duping, re-formatting and data standardisation or flagging and suppressing out of date records. In this Q&A we spoke to Kate Daw, Head of Audience Engagement at Newtrade Publishing.
Kate was looking to get their subscriber database for Better Retailing cleaned and we explored the following questions with her.
Why did you decide to get your data cleansed?
“To check for accuracy, look for additional contacts and ensure we were meeting the ABC data requirements for our publication.”
In most cases a database consists of data gathered over a long period of time, from multiple sources and in different formats. B2B data in the UK can decay at 40% per year and so it is vital to get your data regularly cleaned to ensure its accuracy. Most data cleansing companies will offer a free of charge audit to ascertain what Kate was looking for.
What made you look for an external partner as opposed to cleaning in-house?
“We don’t have the expertise or resource.”
It is often the case that the maintenance of customer databases sits permanently on an internal to-do list; near the top but something will take precedence! Choosing to outsource can allow you to ensure it happens and with a provider that has the expertise to ensure the data cleansing is successful.
What were your aims from the data cleansing?
“To ensure our distribution list was as accurate as possible.”
As a publisher sending out a magazine, the potential for wastage is quite high once print, postage and fulfilment have been included. Maintaing an accurate mailing list is one of the core reasons to get customer and prospect data cleaned.
Was the data cleanse a one-off or do you plan to repeat the exercise?
“We will be looking to repeat the data cleanse – it was more useful than I realised it would be, because as well as updating current contacts Data HQ were able to identify new contacts for us to add to our list.”
As previously mentioned, B2B data can decay by 40% per year, so having a regular data cleaning strategy ensures that once the data is clean it stays clean. It also enables regular identification of new and relevant prospects you may not already be targeting.
What were your deciding factors on choosing a partner?
“Good experience in the past, and a recommendation from Beeline Data Services, our subscription house.”
Selecting the right data partner is always hard and having someone recommended to you based on their experience is invaluable. If you don’t have a recommendation to hand then look for relevant case studies and testimonials. For more help on selecting the right partner you can read our guide.
Had you carried out data cleansing before?
“As a company, yes, but not me personally.”
As with most data driven services there are lots of options and providers and if you haven’t carried it out before it can be quite confusing. With that in mind we really appreciate Kate taking the time to share her thoughts and help you understand more about the process and its benefits.
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