Businesses generate data from many components, but it all has to come together somewhere.
From Excel to “The Cloud,” your data can be anywhere, sometimes all at once! But with so many essential tactics leveraging data-driven marketing, and real penalties for data mistakes — be it the punishment for spam and data breaches, or just annoying customers with poorly targeted messages — it’s time to clean up your data mess and get things organized in one, centralized data repository. Centralizing your data doesn’t just have huge benefits; it’s absolutely essential for five reasons:
1. It Reduces Bad Data
Bad data costs money. It costs money to acquire, money to store and (mis)manage, and money that you miss out on when it loses sales. A Gartner survey found that companies know bad data costs them money, an average of $14 million from the companies they surveyed. A separate study by LeadJen found that bad data costs companies $20,000 per sales rep per year. Experian says 75 percent of companies are wasting 15 percent of their revenue due to poor data quality. And there’s a lot more data that says the same thing where they came from.
A lot of data inconsistency is caused by maintaining information in parallel databases, transferring data from department to department, and not having a single point of responsibility for keeping it all clean and up to date. Bringing all of your data into a centralized system is essential to solving this problem.
2. Saves Time and Money
This seems obvious, but it’s really a top reason to get your data into one central database. It may take a higher level of expertise to manage a centralized marketing database, but it takes a lot less personnel time than having multiple departments manage separate databases in separate repositories or Excel files.
It’s not just about wasted time or effort, there is work and analysis that simply does not happen with the data being managed by different folks in different departments across your company.
3. Enables Cross-Silo Tracking and Messaging
Cross-sell, up-sell, opportunistic sales based on the customer’s needs … none of these things are possible if data doesn’t travels from lead generation through nurturing, sale, post-sale and customer service. The best way to do that is to have one database that all of those departments can access, one record all of those departments can build upon.
Think beyond marketing for a moment. Think of how customer service works with sales. If a customer calls in to customer service with a problem, and sales is going to call on that customer again in the future, details of that interaction should be in the same database the salesperson is using. The salesperson can at least mention the service call to break the ice, and may be able to makes cross-sell or up-sell offers based on the experience.
That’s why research from Experian Data Quality Services found that the top two reasons companies reported for keeping high quality data were “increase efficiency” and “enhancement of customer/client satisfaction.”
4. More Accurate and Insightful Analytics
Want to know how lead source and nurturing steps impact the post-purchase customer experience and lifetime value? You’re not alone; analytics and reporting are often at the top of marketer’s list of reasons for purchasing marketing technology. Any technology that enables that will require a centralized database (or provide one).
5. Easier to Prove ROI and Get Executive Buy-in
This is related to the point above, but the consequences of this particular shortcoming are far ranging.
Marketers have long struggled to be recognized as a revenue center by the C-suite. And it doesn’t help when the boss asks a quantitative question, and your best answer is to stall for time because it’ll take time to pull that information together from several different systems.
Having a central database is the first step to embracing all the technology and opportunity available to marketers today. Don’t be left behind.