Data quality: this is how you increase the quality of your marketing data

Actively managing data quality ensures better results and campaigns

28 May 2020 - 10 minutes
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Data quality: this is how you increase the quality of your marketing data

  • Data quality is essential for successful marketing campaigns. The higher the quality of data, the better the campaigns.
  • Managing data quality is an ongoing process, which starts with actively monitoring the changes in data. 
  • It is possible to highly automate the improvement of data quality for campaigns.

Data quality may not be the first thing you think of in marketing campaigns. However, it is, just like e-mail deliverability, one of the most important foundations for successful campaigns.

With Basedriver, we always offer marketers access to up-to-date and qualitative data. This allows them to create better campaigns and respond faster to new developments. It is essential to properly monitor data quality, which is why in this article we take a closer look at ways to ensure and improve data quality.

You can read more about the following topics in this article:

What is data quality 
Common problems with marketing data
Ways to improve data quality
Checklist of marketing data quality 
Improve your data quality with Basedriver

What is data quality

Data quality means that the content of data you have stored in the database corresponds to the actual situation that those data should represent.

That sounds complicated, but basically it means that the data in your database must be correct. Does anyone have zip code 1111AA? Is his birthday really 01-01-1900? Is the e-mail address of a business customer with another job still correct? These are all cases in which the data quality may not correspond to reality.

For marketing campaigns, it is essential that data quality is in order. This ensures that campaigns are received by the right person and that you can personalize based on reliable data.

Nothing is more annoying than getting an offer for a product you just bought or a newsletter with information that does not interest you. The basis for these kinds of problems is often the lack of reliable data.

Common problems with marketing data

When we implement Basedriver at new customers, we start working on data quality. We conduct a data analysis, map the data flows and look at the quality of data.

In doing so, we often come across the following issues:

Customers are in a different database than leads/newsletter registrations

At many companies we see that customer data is stored in another system than newsletters and leads. Customer data is usually stored in a CRM system, newsletter subscriptions in the e-mail marketing software. The disadvantage of this is that it is possible that people are in multiple databases, perhaps that new lead is actually an existing customer!

Double profiles in the database

Deduplication is a nightmare that every data quality manager faces. There are many reasons why duplication occurs, such as:

  • Data scattered across multiple systems;
  • Companies with multiple brands, and store data per brand;
  • Existing customers entered as new customers;
  • Changed data that is not implemented everywhere.

There are many more reasons why duplicates occur in the database. Active monitoring is therefore necessary.

Data is lost when it is entered

When collecting leads or newsletter subscriptions, a lot of data is often lost. For example, because the data of one system does not correspond with the database of the other system. Or simply because errors are made during delivery.

We know of cases where customers could not use half of their generated leads, because not all data was delivered correctly. Many commercial opportunities are lost, which is a pity.

Data is not complete

Almost every database contains incomplete data. From a marketer’s point of view, that makes sense. You often start with asking for an e-mail address and then you try to further enrich that data.

The completeness of data is an important factor for data quality, therefore it is important that you try to complement profiles until all data is complete.

Data is not stored in accordance with GDPR

GDPR has a major influence on the way in which data should be stored. For example, showing the reason for saving data is important. You also have to be able to ‘forget’ a person at any time or provide all available data for that person.

We often see that a good registration of OPTS (permission for e-mail marketing) is missing. An Opt is more than just a check in the database, you have to keep track of when permission was given. You also have to keep track of when someone has unsubscribed.

We see that the administration of opt-in and unsubscriptions at many companies is not regulated in accordance with GDPR, with possible fines as a result.

Data changes and becomes unusable

Profile information is constantly changing, customers move, e-mail addresses change or interest in a product changes. Poor data doesn’t reach the right people, but it has another negative effect.

If profiles are emailed without a valid e-mail address, this has negative consequences for the deliverability of the entire campaign. Massively sending letters to the wrong addresses has a negative effect on your reputation. Not to mention approaching people who may have died.

A database is like a house, if it is not actively maintained, quality goes down rapidly. Fortunately, it is possible to maintain quality and even improve it with regular maintenance.

Ways to improve data quality

Assigning responsibility for data quality

The first step in improving data quality is appointing a responsible person. Who intervenes if wrong profiles are delivered? Who ensures that bounces are filtered? And who is responsible for deduplication of data?

Such a data quality manager is often a link between marketing and IT. If a file is delivered incorrectly or an API is used incorrectly, this person can switch with the marketer and preferably solve the problem himself.

The data quality manager is also someone who regularly conducts surveys and reports on the quality of data. It is therefore an important role within marketing organizations.

Mapping data flows and choose one marketing database

The next step is to map data flows for marketing campaigns. Data may be stored in the financial administration, the webshop, ERP, on social media and on the website. At Basedriver, this is a standard part of every project.

In addition to mapping data flows, it is important to choose a single source of marketing data. In our case this is Basedriver. That one source is the place where current and reliable marketing data is available for marketers.

Usually data migration is required to deduplicate the various data and place it in a single system with the right permission. During such a data migration, multiple files are combined and deduplicated, in order to achieve one reliable starting position.

Automatic synchronization and deduplication of marketing data

Then, it is determined per data category which system is leading. For data of existing customers this is often the administration. Data of prospects are stored in the marketing database. The leading source for products is the webshop or PIM system.

The day after data migration, the data quality has already decreased. That is why it is important that the main data sources are automatically kept synchronous. For large organizations it can therefore be smart to set up a marketing architecture. For smaller organizations, we see at least following data sources:

  • Administration;
  • CRM;
  • Webshop;
  • Online (Social) media.

Deduplication is an important step that should not be missed. Every profile should be automatically deduplicated, which creates new opportunities. It is of course extremely interesting if an existing customer has signed up for a new product!

With Basedriver we always link to the backend systems and to the webshop, ensuring that data is continuously maintained and deduplicated.

Automatic checking new profiles

When supplying new profiles, for example via lead generation or a file, it is important that the quality of data is assessed.

You can check whether all data has been entered, whether it has the correct format and whether the correct permission has been checked. By checking in advance, you prevent repairs afterwards.

It is essential that the marketer or the supplying system actively provides feedback on the supplied profiles, for example by means of an error message or notification. The sooner you know there is a problem, the easier it can be corrected.

Automatic filtering of unreliable profiles

If profiles become unreliable, it is important that they are automatically filtered out of the campaigns. This can be done, for example, by excluding inactive profiles and no longer including bounces in selections.

By automatically filtering unreliable profiles, you prevent the reputation and deliverability problems, as mentioned earlier. In addition, you increase the open ratio and you can make better decisions about the result of campaigns.

However, it is essential to keep an eye on the profiles that are classified as unreliable. You may want to approach them later for a reactivation campaign or there is another problem. It is therefore wise to regularly monitor which profiles are no longer included in selections.

Active monitoring of data quality

The next step is to keep an eye on whether the data in the database is and remains clear. This can be done, for example, by monitoring whether all changes (new, modified or deleted profiles) have led to errors. If you then automatically send a message to the data quality manager, he can immediately take action.

It is also important to carry out periodic checks. For example, by looking at the progression of mailings that bounce, the response to campaigns and incoming complaints. These figures provide a good picture of the quality of data.

With Basedriver, we automatically send a report with the number of profiles that have been delivered incorrectly. This gives the data quality manager the possibility to correct these profiles and deliver them again.

Setting up campaigns to improve data quality

In order to further increase data quality, it is possible to set up campaigns for data enrichment. When doing this, you send an e-mail with the request to check or update data. It is also possible to include these kinds of questions in the e-mail newsletter.

A reactivation campaign is another example of a campaign that improves data quality. It increases the number of active profiles in the database, which increases your chance of success.

Checklist of marketing data quality

We created a useful checklist with the most important aspects of this article:

  • Appointing a responsible person as data quality manager
  • Mapping data flows for marketing data
  • Choose one marketing database
  • Determine leading source per data category
  • Active monitoring of data quality
  • Automatic filtering of unreliable profiles
  • Automatic synchronization of data sources
  • Automatic checking new profiles
  • Setting up campaigns to improve data quality

Improve your data quality with Basedriver

Data quality is an essential part of marketing. Basedriver is marketing software that is specifically designed for this challenge. We have the following features to improve data quality:

  • Opt-log which complies with GDPR;
  • Links with other systems to create a single marketing database;
  • Automatic deduplication of customers and prospects;
  • Active monitoring of data quality;
  • Business ruling for selecting the right customers.

Would you like to know more about e-mail marketing with Basedriver? Please contact us for a personal demonstration.

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