How much is your data costing you?

Recent research carried out by Royal Mail found that approximately 6% of annual revenue is lost due to poor quality data. In monetary terms, that’s a sizeable impact on your bottom line.

Of the 300 companies surveyed, 70% admitted to having customer data that was out of date. Given that data tends to decay at a rate of 35% each year, alongside the fact that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last 2 years alone, it’s perhaps not surprising that this figure of 70% is up 12% when looking at stats from 2014.

The results of the survey make for compelling reading and further endorse the requirement to keep your data as up to date as possible through regular data cleansing. More accurate data will not only increase your ROI but it will also enable you to identify trends in your customer base and engage with them more efficiently.

Paying more attention to your data processes also allows you to focus on exactly how you capture your data and how that can be improved upon. According to the study, websites contributed to 87% of customer data capture with mobile web responsible for less than half at 44%. A closer look at the figures shows that whilst 44% of companies surveyed validate online data captured, 19% of companies carry out no validation process at all. Data that is not validated at point of entry leads to unqualified and sometimes completely inaccurate data that will only serve to erode your marketing budget.

With this in mind, looking at the data capture functions on your website is a good place to start. Whether you have a ‘contact us’ form or offer sign up for a newsletter,  it’s important that you capture as much relevant data as you possibly can to help build a profile of your online visitors. A combination of pre-defined answers coupled with some free text options is a good way to obtain exactly the kind of information you would like to know about your audience whilst the free text allows them to elaborate and provide further insight. If you can validate the data at source, it will save you time and effort cleansing the data later on.

If you actively use social media platforms to promote your business, carrying out a similar exercise on those will also be beneficial. Whilst channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin can all be useful to help build up a picture of your customer base, they are generally less of an effective data capturing tool and more successful at driving traffic. That’s not to say they don’t play an important role in the mix, but keep any data capture on these platforms simple and concise.

Being able to keep on top of ‘life event changes’ in your customer base will also give you an advantage when engaging with your audience. 10% of people in the UK move house over the course of a year, a figure that no doubt affects a large portion of your database. Being able to capture that data means you can not only capitalise on any opportunities to promote offers or products related to a recent house move, but if you’re sending direct mail campaigns it also means you’re not wasting postage costs on inaccurate address data. The life event changes relevant to your business will vary, such as marriage, a house move, job change or retirement etc, but each can often be useful as it presents an opportunity to engage with your customer base.

Staying compliant with existing data protection regulations is also an extremely important reason to ensure your databases are managed correctly but perhaps of even greater importance is preparing for the impending GDPR regulations to be enforced in May 2018. The way you handle your data, as well as how you process it and with whom it is shared will be under even greater scrutiny as of next year, so be sure to evaluate your current processes and educate your staff on GDPR and its implications. You can read more on GDPR and how it may impact your business in our blog below:

What is clear from the survey is the hugely important role data plays in every business. From customer engagement, brand awareness and sales pipelines to your bottom line, all are largely influenced by the quality of your data. If you have a large database that hasn’t been cleaned for some time it can be a daunting task, but creating a strict routine that scrubs your data on a regular basis will mean the process becomes less laborious over time as the database is increasingly up to date. You’ll also gradually start to see the benefits previously mentioned, hopefully in the shape of plugging some of that 6% you’d previously lost from your bottom line.

If you struggle to find the time or resource to manage your data effectively, at Herald Chase we offer a database manipulation and management service from simple de-duplication to comprehensive daily database management. Our data specialists will filter through your masses of data to reveal the key insights that become the foundations of your strategic marketing campaigns, through data mining & profiling.

Whether you need a simple ‘health check’ on your databases or a more in depth cleanse using the latest data cleansing and enrichment software, we’re on hand to help with all of your data requirements.

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog piece, if you need any further info or have an enquiry , feel free to contact us on the office number: 0118 474 888.

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