It’s almost impossible to overstate the importance of marketing data, yet data enhancement and data hygiene are the unsung heroes of marketing success. All the data-driven insights in the world won’t help your marketing efforts achieve much if they’re built on faulty information at the outset. Collecting, storing, and retrieving more accurate, complete data is a primary goal for the coming year, and new data enrichment technology will play a key role in making it happen.
Machine Learning Catches Mistakes Early
The human mind excels at pattern recognition. We use it all the time when we read, and it’s how we can instantly identify a mistake in a record – a customer file for a Mr. George E. Jnoes, for example, immediately stands out in a row of people named Jones. Computers have traditionally had to have a ruleset for measuring the accuracy of data. We can tell it that the letters J, O, N, E, and S usually appear in that order and that other orders should be flagged, but that isn’t quite the same as learning the rules. State-of-the-art technology employs machine learning so computers, too, can recognize probable errors and keep up with your Joneses (and Smiths and Browns).
Integration Simplifies Verification
How do you know your data’s correct? One way is to hold it up to a yardstick and measure it against that known quantity. That’s what happens when data enhancement services check your house list against a master database such as the National Change of Address (NCOA) database run by the U.S. Postal Service. Marketing automation systems from the most recognized names in the industry such as Marketo make it easy to verify data both with third-party databases and with other sections of your own database such as sales histories and CMR records.
Enrichment Goes Deeper
You can get to know your customers better than ever, and that trend’s likely to continue throughout 2017 as social media, search engines, and marketing automation technology become more adept at gathering and pooling their knowledge. You might, for example, learn that George E. Jones is the head of the QA department at his business directly from email correspondence with him.
Your sales records can tell you what he and his organization have spent with you in the past. Site tracking gives you details about which pages of your site he’s visited and if he’s downloaded any content. Data append services can also tell you about his firm, giving you insight into who else makes buying decisions with him, and give you other channels through which you can connect with him. Ultimately, you get to know George well even before your sales team has spoken to him.
Data enhancement provides important insight into your customer base, opens new avenues of communication, maintains the quality of your records, and fills in important blanks to give you a clear competitive edge.
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