By: Don Monell (
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Don’t let data infidelity hurt your customer relationships

Big data is here to stay. Never have there been more touchpoints available to connect the customer journey. A huge cloud of information. Combine that with ever evolving tools and technologies to tame it and you have the greatest opportunity ever as a marketer to present clear and compelling reasons for customers and prospects to want what you are offering.

It’s great! Tons of data, cool new technologies, more channels then ever! It’s so easy to forget the building block of it all. But the fact of the matter is that at the core of marketing are segments, audiences, and people. And the better the data connected to them is, the better you know them and tailor their messaging and follow their journey. It’s the accuracy of the data that is paramount. Without it you are not relevant with your offers, there’s waste of marketing spend and there are certainly inaccuracies in measuring performance of your campaigns.

Findings published by My Customer say 45% of customers would flee in horror from a brand that communicated with them through a channel they has asked not to be. Ok, so that might be a little dramatic, ‘flee in horror’ but it is a hard fact. Bad data integrity equals a lost relationship.

So we have more data than ever being captured across evolving traditional and digital channels. Great data coming in and as it’s captured, mostly accurate. It’s providing a full view of the customer across all channels.

But over time many initial details change and herein lies the problem.

For Email:

  • Up to 33% of email data becomes outdated every year
  • 0ver 38% of email users change their email at least once every two years
  • 15% change it one or more times per year

Think of the effect that has on your email and email linked digital efforts!

For Phone:

  • 20% of all telephone numbers change every year
  • 10% of households annually are dropping their landline number

For Postal:

  • 20% of all addresses change each year

So regular, repeating data integrity processes including normalizing, hygiene, appending and de-duping must be in place otherwise the full string of data that makes up each customer and identifies each individual and their attributes becomes inaccurate.

To get a feel of how this issue is being looked at and acted upon for US companies below are a few data integrity facts from Experian’s 2015 Data Quality Benchmark Report.

  • 99% of organizations think data is essential for marketing success
  • 26% feel their data might be inaccurate
  • 51% say the biggest reason for data errors is incomplete or missing data
  • 27% are proactive about data quality
  • 14% are completely unaware of data integrity
  • 55% believe data integrity helps protect their reputation
  • 47% believe data integrity drives cost savings and increased efficiency
  • 63% of organizations lack a coherent, centralized approach to their data quality strategy
  • 92% of companies say managing their data is challenging
  • 64% will focus on a new solution

So it is clear that companies understand how data is essential to their marketing efforts. Almost half of those surveyed believe that data integrity drives savings and efficiency. But almost all see this as a challenge and only a portion are proactive.

Where are you with data integrity and all that it encompasses? If you are not doing regular data integrity processes that include normalizing, hygiene, appending and de-duping the full string of data that makes up each customer and identifies each individual then their attributes are lost. And so will be the customer. Don’t let that happen. Make data integrity at the forefront of all your marketing efforts as it is the cornerstone to your marketing success. The relationship with your data requires care and dedication, like all relationships integrity is key.

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