Data enhancement has a huge impact on your marketing reach and penetration, but as with any marketing activity, it involves an investment of time and effort to realize a return. The last thing you want to do is waste that effort on data append services that don’t perform up to your standards. Following these best practices with your data enhancement process protects you and your data from undue risk.
Learn About Your Data
The better you understand the types of information you have flowing into your database, the more capable you are of foreseeing issues that could introduce errors. For example, you might have the same or similar information coming into your database from multiple points, such as subscription forms, order records, and shipping data. Before you can put these records through data enhancement programs, you first have to practice proper data hygiene. Centralizing and cleansing your data to remove duplicate records and maintain uniformity throughout an account file is the first step to effective data enrichment.
Set Data Rules
Where does new information entering your database wind up, and how is it routed to the right account files? What’s your current procedure for working with records that are years old? Taking a systematic approach lets you and your data management team economize on effort and streamline data governance. One set of rules doesn’t apply for all businesses; a supplier of diagnostic equipment, for example, would probably have a long sales cycle and want to keep inactive records longer than a company that supplies the printer paper on which diagnostics are printed. Stay flexible and adjust to fit your organization’s needs.
Decide What You Want Data Enhancement to Do
Data enrichment fills many needs. It can help you understand your current customers better, acquire more leads, implement nurture programs for prospects, make analytics more accurate, and more. You and your data enhancement provider can work together to prioritize your goals and choose the enhancements that are most relevant to you. You might want to focus on demographic and firmographic information at the individual level, such as job title and income, for customer-focused enrichment. For data enhancement to improve analytics, you might emphasize organizational knowledge, including company size and industry market share. Together, you and your data vendor can find custom-fit data append solutions.
Data enhancement services rely on having a large, complete database from which to work. The more data you have access to, the likelier you are to find the missing puzzle pieces in your records. With larger and more complete files, you also have the luxury of being choosier about the data you want. Need fundamental demographic information? It’s there for you. Want to understand the nuances of behavioral data? That’s possible too when you go big with your data append service provider. Your data and list broker will also document the process so you can fine-tune it and get the results you want from enhancement.
Check Your Work
Testing is critical to marketing success in other areas, and data enhancement is no exception. Your database management team is able to run a random selection of your records through the process to see what the finished product will look like. One mistake some businesses make is allowing the perfect to become the enemy of the good; no data enrichment process will be flawless, and chasing that goal could become counterproductive. That’s why it’s vital to run a sample first and achieve the coverage that completely meets your needs.
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