You may not know it, but you live in Goldilocks’ neighborhood. Scientists refer to the “Goldilocks Zone” as the just-right distance from the sun, the zone that’s neither too hot nor too cold to support life. Marketing data scientists also have their own version of the Goldilocks Zone. It’s the range within which your leads’ contact data is both accurate enough to reach your prospects yet broad enough to connect with as many leads as possible.
Data hygiene is a balancing act, and you want to be in the just-right region that gives you the best outcome for your efforts. What’s the ideal ratio of depth to breadth? That’s a question you and your data enhancement consultant can work out together, but here’s an idea of what you (and Goldilocks) might be after.
Data expires more quickly than you might expect – somewhere between 2 and 3 percent per month on average for B2B industries. Even if your list is scrupulously clean at the beginning of the year, it could be woefully out of date by year’s end. You can’t persuade leads to take action if you can’t reach them, so your primary goal is to refine your list and make data more accurate through merge/purge and de-dupe processes. With these tools, you prune away obsolete data and replace it with up-to-date knowledge.
Casting a Wider Net
Taking a look at your more accurate and newly enhanced data, you’ll undoubtedly notice fewer active records. That’s a good thing; it means duplicates and invalid data has been scrubbed from the active list. Without experienced data enhancement, however, you run a risk of losing some valid data to the cleansing process. For example, you might have both a Jon Smith and a John Smith on your list. A well-designed data hygiene algorithm will spot these names and alert you so you can make an individual decision on these highly similar records. You discover that Jon and John are two different people and retain both records.
Just-Right Solutions in Data Hygiene
How you and your data hygiene manager assess your list depends on its current accuracy, size, rate of decay, and other key factors. A small house list will typically need less emphasis on accuracy and more on breadth as you want to keep as much of its size intact as possible. By the same token, a large list could be in greater need of pruning. If your list regularly undergoes maintenance, or if you acquire a list from a third-party business mailing list broker, accuracy is a given. If your lists aren’t subject to rigorous verification, boosting accuracy could be your highest priority.
Goldilocks knew everything she needed to know about porridge and comfortable sleeping arrangements. Your list manager knows everything you need to know about data hygiene. Talk with a list hygiene manager to know where your ideal Goldilocks zone might be.
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