Data quality is for life not just for Christmas
by Phil Rothwell, Sales and Marketing Director, Postcode Anywhere
8 Nov 2011: With Christmas approaching, now is a better time than ever to re-evaluate address management procedures. Even the smallest change can reduce overheads and increase operational efficiency.
It is possible for Christmas marketing campaigns to deliver fantastic response rates for marketers. The festive season provides the perfect opportunity for companies to rapidly expand their customer databases and get as much consumer data as possible. It’s also a good time to make the most of any data you already have. But it all hinges on contact data – because, unfortunately, a large proportion of your campaigns will not even reach the correct recipients. In most cases, poor data quality represents a lost opportunity, or even a lost sale.
It is common knowledge that data decays rapidly. Address data is prone to get out-of-date particularly quickly, with studies typically indicating consumer data degradation is around 10-15% and business data by 30-40% on average every year. The scale of this problem can be accounted for by many factors: human error, changes of address and personal circumstance to name but a few.
But people don’t collectively wait until the day before you run your data cleanse before they all decide to move house. It’s this fact that makes data quality maintenance a continuous task and not something that can be employed only once before a big campaign. In addition, data files are becoming considerably larger and more complex, as is the software managing them.
Christmas is not just cue for chestnuts and mulled wine: it’s invariably the cue for a congested delivery network. The bad news is that no matter why your packages don’t arrive, it’s your reputation that will take some kind of hit. Poorly-addressed mail causes one of the biggest headaches for postal workers at Christmas. It’s in any company’s interest to improve address data quality to reduce the chances of a slowdown at the sorting office.
The consequences of poor address data should not be underestimated. According to research Postcode Anywhere carried out in 2009, incorrect delivery addresses cost online UK businesses around £146m every year. Every year 5.8 million items ordered online fail to appear on the doormat first time because of an error in the address. Conversely, a survey we conducted this year reveals one in ten of shoppers have been put off shopping online this year because of problems with deliveries. This kind of situation, which has the potential to cause serious damage to a small business, is exactly the sort of problem which can be so easily avoided with technology such as address auto-fill.
It is a much better idea to look at preventive measures in addition to one-off cleaning. There are many services you can employ that will improve your operational effectiveness. Maintaining a closer relationship with contact data right from the point of entry is critical. Consistency can be enforced, and the consequences of poor formatting will be improved. Running a periodic data cleanse every six months or just before your Christmas campaign simply isn’t good enough for the competitive business.
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20 May 2013: Comet Global Consulting, the customer interaction expert, has secured an additional two-year deal with Sky, to further develop and support the company’s customer relationship management and customer interaction systems and operations.
21 May 2013: — Experian has launched a new online credit risk and marketing portal putting a wealth of vital business information at the fingertips of UK SMEs.
8 May 2013: Hector Vass, former Systems Architect in the Customer Lifecycle and Optimisation team at the Lloyds Banking Group, has joined marketing analytics agency Metametrics as Chief Technology Officer.
8 May 2013: The Institute of Fundraising’s Special Interest Group for Insight in Fundraising has announced the shortlist of finalists for the Insight in Fundraising Awards 2013.
8 May 2013: ghd, the UK hair-straightening brand, has seen conversion rates soar as a result of improving the shopping experience on mobile devices using data gathered through Celebrus Technologies’ software.
7 May 2030: Maileva, a European leader in hybrid direct-mail solutions, and Selectabase, a supplier of marketing data, have joined forces to offer marketers what they call "a unique, easy-to-use and cost-effective direct-marketing solution".
7 May 2013: Really Simple Systems, one of the world’s largest providers of hosted CRM systems, has announced availability of an interface to Sage One – Sage's online accounting system.
15 Apr 2013: Following the launch of the Smartdepart suppression file last month, data and targeting specialist Wilmington Millennium has now launched Smartlink, a new goneaway database for direct marketers.
15 Apr 2013: Celebrus Technologies has deepened its partnership with Teradata through its new ability to feed individual-level digital channel data directly into Teradata Real-Time Interaction Manager.
15 Apr 2013: Data8, the data enrichment specialist, has added to its suite of real time data validation applications with the introduction of bank account validation.
15 Apr 2013: The consolidated revenue of Weborama, the European leader in the management, distribution and tracking of targeted online advertising, grew by 5% in the first quarter of 2013.
5 Apr 2013: Kwik-Fit Group has appointed customer engagement agency Lateral to handle the automotive company’s customer eCRM programme.
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