An experienced data professional who has been working within the direct marketing industry for over 20 years. Having spent 17 years as owner and MD of Data HQ Ltd his remit covers the whole of the management spectrum including; strategy development, organisational structure, company policy & procedure and product development.
It’s human nature, especially in this age of instant access, instant communication and instant gratification, to look for a silver bullet. That one quick win, tip or hack that will grant you your heart’s desire.
At the heart of your marketing efforts is your marketing database. A critical component in your strategy. No matter how engaging your latest asset or interesting your company information, they’re of no use if they’re not reaching the right people.
That’s why it’s so important to create a culture of best practice data management. Your data cleansing process should be an ongoing activity. While there are certainly tactics you can quickly tick off to give your database a quality boost, the most important weapon in your armour is the internal approach you build to such an important asset.
A flywheel approach to data hygiene
Ultimately, it’s about creating a flywheel approach to data hygiene. After an initial effort, a flywheel stores rotational energy to maintain its own momentum.
In business, it’s about making the initial effort to get the right pieces in place and then letting the process build its own momentum. The Amazon Flywheel, for example, relies on positive customer experience driving traffic to the platform, in turn, improving seller success and the selection of goods available, in turn allowing Amazon to improve its cost structure and decrease prices, further spinning the wheel.
This virtuous cycle approach is applicable to many business best practices where you want to establish and maintain momentum. You just have to get the right pillars in place to allow good practice, once established, to continue to flourish. For your database, the pillars to put in place are:
- Standardised data entry and formatting
- Periodically amended incomplete or incorrect data
- Periodically added new contacts’ information
- Periodically deduplicating contacts
- Removing irrelevant or outdated contacts
You should put in place a clear process and timeline, and allocate responsibilities to ensure that these steps are undertaken at agreed intervals.
Maintaining momentum through data quality
It’s so much easier to maintain your database if you keep on top of it, and keeping on top of it means that your data remains mostly clean. There’s no set in stone time period for database review, but six months is a good rule of thumb for any organisation.
Of course, if you’ve not undertaken a marketing database cleanse before, or are unsure of what you’re doing, it’s important to consult a specialist to get that momentum going and build your own processes on best practice. Once you have effective pillars established, there will certainly be a lot more you can do internally.
For more insights into and information on best practice data management, explore our Knowledge Hub. Otherwise, get in touch with one of our friendly experts to discuss how Data HQ’s database cleansing services can help you kick start your flywheel approach.
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