Data science is the foundation of virtually every aspect of modern marketing. From the fundamentals of data hygiene to sophisticated content marketing strategies rooted in lead scoring algorithms, database services are crucial to marketing success. Simply gathering information is not enough; if it isn’t accessible, actionable, and analyzable, you may as well not collect data at all. Marketing automation technology takes the work out of organizing and mobilizing data to derive valuable insights, but software alone is only part of the story. You also need to understand how to use it – or hire the right database service experts to do it for you.
Here’s how database services transform isolated data elements into real insights in four steps.
Raise Your Standards
Organization is the difference between clutter and clarity. To organize data, it must be normalized and standardized so it can be properly organized. The leap from scattered data spread throughout siloed systems to centrally warehoused data can be daunting, especially if your current software solution is a piecemeal collection of disparate platforms. Your database administrator must know how to gather, normalize, and store information across multiple formats to make your customer master data fully available and actionable within your marketing system. Standardizing data collection also makes life easier for your customers and contributes to better branding.
Coming Clean with Your Database
How accurate is your data? Without regular merge/purge and verification processes to cleanse it, your data can’t give you the accuracy you need for predictive analyses or lead nurture programs. Data services administrators and IT specialists swear by the “GIGO” principle – that’s short for “garbage in, garbage out.” Feed poor data into the system, and you get inaccurate results; give it cleansed, verified data, and you get usable business intelligence. Data hygiene includes elimination of invalid phones, addresses and emails, merge/purge operations, de-duplication, and verification against a rigorously maintained database. With good data hygiene, your database management team has a solid foundation from which to launch your other marketing activities.
Filling in the Blanks with Data Enhancement
Making good use of what you already know is an excellent way to learn more about your customers. Data enhancement works by taking incomplete customer files, matching them against a larger database of verified information, and adding more essential data to your records. Data append services enrich customer records, taking a few isolated pieces of information and constructing a detailed file containing complete contact records, demographic details, and firmographic data.
Lead Scoring with Database Management
Once you know who your leads are, you need to know where they are in their buying process. Lead scoring identifies where your prospects are along their buying process, which in turn lets you connect with them using content that’s tailored precisely to their needs at that moment. Because it’s time-sensitive, lead scoring relies on real-time capabilities – the kind of precision necessary in this fast paced marketplace.
Data derives much of its value from how it interrelates to other information. Individual data elements can construct a detailed picture of your customers, show you where they are in their buying journey, and tell you what you don’t yet know about them so you swiftly heighten your content relevance.