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The Problem of Dirty Data and Why Every Sales and Marketing Leader Should Care
Brian Hansford, Heinz Marketing / the funnelholic / September 16, 2013
What is dirty data and why should we care about it?
Bad data is like bad fuel for a car. Fuel that has lots of sediment combined with sugar in the gas tank will pretty much destroy the machine.
Dirty data is outdated, non-normalized, poorly entered and maintained, full of spam traps and misspelled names, lacking lead sources, and loaded wrong phone numbers and incomplete records. Dirty data can render any database ineffective. But for marketing organizations, dirty will cripple any demand generation and customer marketing using a Marketing Automation Platform. And once dirty data gets into a MAP, the negative effects can permeate the entire organization like a disease.
What are the implications for bad data for your marketing campaigns?
In my opinion, data management and data hygiene are probably the most overlooked components to a successful marketing automation initiative, right after content.
According to Sirius Decisions:
- 25% of the average B2B database is inaccurate
- 60% of companies surveyed had an overall data health scale of “unreliable”
- 80% of companies have “risky” phone contact records
The implications are critical and completely underestimated. I recently learned of a blacklisted publicly-traded company with an enterprise marketing automation platform. This company is heading into Q4 and like most B2B organizations have a huge focus on solidifying their revenue pipeline to close the year. Because they were blacklisted by ISPs, their outbound marketing efforts were effectively shut down. Think about the implications in this scenario: A stalled pipeline with no funnel-stage marketing. Limited forecasting. No marketing air cover. No nurture campaigns. Limited promotion of events. Missed revenue targets. Falling share price. CAN SPAM Act complaints and lawsuits. Board meetings. Terminations.
Some people may think the scenario is dramatic. I don’t. Notice how I didn’t mention anything related to sender scores, campaign response rates, email deliverability, click-thrus, bounce-rates or unsubscribes. Yes, dirty data impacts all of the tactical campaign performance metrics. But data hygiene is much bigger than email campaign performance.
Data hygiene and data management is strategic to any marketing efforts with massive implications on revenue generation and customer engagement and the CMO needs to take it that seriously.