The Down and Dirty on Dirty Data: How Data Cleansing Can Improve Your Online Lead Generation

Marketing data is one of the most valuable assets a company holds. Leads and customer big-data-imageinformation help you target groups most likely to purchase your products. This data gives you a tool to stay in touch with those who have expressed an interest in your company and to provide valuable customers with offers that are most likely to generate sales. More than that, marketing data is a powerful asset when it comes time to develop new products.Yet a staggering number of marketing professionals are armed with corrupt data. Duplicate entries, inaccurate entries, and incomplete entries are just a few of the issues that corrupt marketing data and make it ineffective, and potentially detrimental, to your organization. Here is a look at the most common problems with dirty data, how it affects your marketing campaigns, and what you can do to fix the problems.

Data Duplication

Jerrie is a CFO for ABC Widgets, Inc. Jerrie has been shopping for new accounting software, and she’s visited your landing pages several times to download various reports, whitepapers and e-books. Sometimes she enters her full name, while other times she forgets about the recent switch to her husband’s name and just enters her maiden name. In your system, she’s also provided her home email once, her cell phone email address another time, and her work email a couple of times, too.

In fact, Jerrie is in your system a sum total of four times, meaning you think you have four contacts with ABC Widgets when, in fact, you only have one. Furthermore, your system thinks you have several more CFOs interested in your product than you actually do. Worse, you sent Jerrie four different announcements about your last special sale, which irritated her. Jerrie just bought the software from your competitor, and told a couple of her friends who were shopping for accounting software that you were spamming her. Dirty data: strike one.

Data Inaccuracies & Incompleteness

Similarly, people who enter info into your landing pages, sign up for your promotions, fill out cards at your trade show booths, etc. don’t always give you all the information you ask for. Others outright lie because they don’t want a sales call. Still more make silly mistakes, such as writing an ‘h’ that looks like an ‘r’ or forgetting to add the zip code, area code, or suite number to their information.

This means that many of your attempts to reach out to leads and customers never get there. Others get to the wrong place, and if too many end up in the wrong place, you can inadvertently make an enemy who thinks you’re spamming them. Still more messages are simply a waste of your time, effort, and money. Dirty data: strikes two and three.

Data Cleansing is a Continual Process

Since your lead generation efforts and your communications with customers is an ongoing process, data is constantly in need of cleaning up. Additionally, leads and customers change jobs, change phones, change email, get married, pass away, and many other things that cause data that was once clean and pristine to become outdated and dirty. Even when the umpire calls you safe at home, something can happen later to take that point away.

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Just how clean is your data? Identify where your data requires attention, allowing you to choose which areas to improve.


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