Good Personalization Starts With Clean Data Plus Data Enrichment
Customers have been trained to expect personalization. According to the “State of the Connected Customer” report by Salesforce, which surveyed more than 7,000 consumers, if a company does not make an effort to personalize communications, 52% of consumers are “somewhat likely” to switch to a different brand.
Your customers are continually confronted with a critical challenge — bad, inaccurate data. According to Marketing Sherpa, 2.1% of contact data goes bad every month. Data enrichment is about filling in the critical gaps in existing databases. Data enrichment (also known as data appending) is the process of finding and adding missing or inaccurate attributes in existing data contact lists. Some common data enrichment categories include:
- Email Addresses
- Phone Numbers
- Mailing Addresses
- New/Replacement Contacts
- Job Titles
- Website URLs
- Social Media IDs
- Company Revenue
- Number of Employees
- Parent, Branch, or Subsidiary Information
It is also possible to append demographic, psychographic, and behavioral information. With all of the available attributes in place, you can help your clients develop a better understanding of their customers’ habits and concentrate marketing efforts in areas where the anticipated conversion will be maximized. Data enrichment services represent a significant business opportunity for print service providers to offer differentiated value-add to their clients.
The Path to Data Enrichment
What is the process for enriching data? Marketers, agencies, and service providers that offer these services have identified a four-step process. Because customer data is undergoing constant change, the process is iterative and ongoing.
Step 1: Data Quality Assessment
The first step is scrutinizing existing data in terms of accuracy, completeness, conformity, and integrity. This helps to identify any shortfalls and gaps in existing databases.
Step 2: The Cleansing Process
Next, the service provider might use any number of software tools and solutions to undertake the key process of cleansing raw data. This helps ensure that information is as transparent and accessible as possible. During the cleansing process, you are seeking to resolve the following issues:
- Data redundancy
- Duplicate records
- Inaccurate information
- Misclassified data
- Invalid information
Step 3: Define Data Sources for Appending Additional Information
Once the data has been cleansed, marketers must evaluate how they might be able to enhance their data with specific demographic, trigger, behavioral, and purchasing information. There are multiple external data sources that can foster a better understanding of current customers and their needs, and existing data can also be used to help segment prospects for optimal targeting. This step of the process typically involves developing a database schema (blueprint), extracting data from various sources (internal and external), and checking the quality of the data.
Step 4: The Process Starts All Over Again!
Given the rate of customer data decay, the data enrichment process must be an iterative one. Even the most conservative estimates indicate that at least 30% of customer data decays every year. In B2B markets, sectors with high job turnover (e.g., the Silicon Valley technology industry) can see contact data decay rates as high as 70% per year. This means that data enrichment is not a one-time activity—it must be part of an ongoing business process.
Benefits to Your Customers and Your Bottom Line
Your customers understand that data has become the lifeblood of business. Clean, accurate, and comprehensive customer and prospect data is a prerequisite to any sales, marketing, and customer management strategy. The ability to offer data enrichment services has a succinct value proposition that can deliver a range of benefits to businesses. Specifically:
- Data enrichment is critical for compliance with the Data Protection Act;
- Comprehensive data quality will reduce mailing waste and enable you to segment offers and promotions more accurately;
- Data hygiene can reduce mailing costs;
- Data cleanliness reduces customer defection and improves brand image;
- Data enrichment is proven to ultimately improve response rates.
Your customers are willing to outsource their data cleansing and enhancement. These services can deliver substantial value-add to your customer base while also improving your bottom line profits. It’s time for service providers to step up to the data enrichment challenge!
A digital printing and publishing pioneer and marketing expert, Barbara Pellow helps companies develop multi-media strategies that ride the information wave whether it is developing a strategy to launch a new product, building a strategic marketing plan or educating your sales force on how to deliver an effective value proposition. She brings the knowledge and skills to help companies expand and grow business opportunity. Barb has had a number of high-profile marketing and sales positions including Chief Marketing Officer for the Kodak Graphic Communications Group, Corporate Vice President of Marketing for IKON Office Solutions, and Vice President and General Manager for the Xerox Document Production Systems Group. She also served as the Gannett chair in integrated publishing sciences in Rochester Institute of Technology's (RIT) School of Printing Management and Sciences (SPMS). Most recently, Barb was the Group Director for Business Development at InfoTrends. She is currently the Manager of Pellow and Partners, LLC.
Barb can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org (Mobile, 585-734-2228)