FINDING GOLD IN YOUR DATA By Gary A. Seitz
A look at why a data hygiene program is paramount to the success of your mail operation.
our data contains nuggets of gold; the important part is knowing how to look for it, find it, and use it. Your data may be able to reveal critical business insights, such as how to cut costs and reduce expenses, find new customers, increase revenue, increase customer retention, or determine the lifetime value of each customer. These insights are highly valuable when planning the marketing of products and services. Over 95% of executives believe data is integral to business strategy — unfortunately, they also believe that 33% or more of their customer and prospect data is inaccurate. This undermines a business’s ability to provide excellent customer service and expand their sales and marketing efforts. To reach customers and prospects, accurate contact data is essential, from name and address to phone and email. When contact data is badly managed, marketing programs are wasted, results are poor, customer relationships are damaged, and it reflects badly on the image of your company. Many organizations are finally understanding and addressing this need (pardon our pun). Data quality is now top of mind,
and marketers are focusing on contact management. The Cause Sound business practices require executives to find the root cause of the issue. In most cases, data quality issues begin with human error. Despite advances in automation, data is still manually typed into computers, user interfaces, and web applications every day. Sometimes it’s entered internally by sales or customer service, and other times directly from your customer. Whatever the case, these inaccuracies are from people who simply make a mistake — they mistype or misspell. When on the phone, these errors may even come from a misunderstanding of key words. Other times, transposed characters and digits (especially in a house number or ZIP Code) can be entered incorrectly; something like a number or address component is left out; or the right value is entered, but in the wrong space. Some data is intentionally entered incorrectly. How often do people give incomplete or inaccurate information to safeguard their privacy, or simply to get something free? You’d be surprised how often that theme
Mailing Systems Technology Mar/Apr 2019