Why Bad Data Can Ruin A Marketing Campaign & What You Can Do About It

April 25, 2019 9:23:17 AM | By Matt Benati

Why Bad Data Can Ruin A Marketing Campaign & What You Can Do About It

Today’s post is from guest author, Ryan Gould, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing Services for Elevation Marketing.

No matter how great a marketer you are, bad data can ruin all your efforts. It’s like a great chef trying to make a dish with rotten ingredients!

Making strategic marketing decisions and executing on marketing campaigns based on inaccurate data can lead to wasted time and resources. The data you use in your campaigns is what allows you to connect with real people, who eventually become real customers. And if that data is inaccurate, you won’t generate real customer impressions, or conversions.

That’s why it’s important to understand why bad data can be poisonous to your marketing campaigns, and come up with solutions to address this problem. So let’s look at a few reasons why you shouldn’t touch bad data with a 10-foot pole.

#1: You’ll Miss Key Insights About Your Audience

Data is what helps you understand who your target market is, where they’re coming from, what they do, and how you can contact them. It gives you a comprehensive understanding of your Total Audience Metrics so you can make smart marketing decisions.

Now if you don’t have accurate audience metrics, you may misunderstand who your real customers are, or how you can get in touch with them, basically rendering your outbound and inbound campaigns, useless. You won’t know the truth about your target market, while you shoot arrows in the dark, expecting results from unfocused campaigns.

If you collect data from the wrong sources, it can be disastrous for your customer database too. Maintaining the integrity of data pertaining to each ‘customer account’ is vital to your success. As noted recently in Chief Marketer, 88% of recently surveyed marketers agree that quality data is crucial for account based marketing success. You simply can’t afford to work with the wrong data!

#2: Your Marketing Projections Will Lack Substance

As they say, “what you put in, is what you get out”. If you’re feeding your marketing platform, CRM database, and excel sheets with flawed data, the output you will get will be meaningless. Most marketers use machine learning algorithms and sophisticated excel formulas for predicting campaign ROI’s, in order to compare to actual results. But all this fails if your data is bad.

If you’re trying to win the trust of senior stakeholders to give you a bigger marketing budget, you need to present projections that are backed with solid, reliable data. Using substandard data for making projections to impress stakeholders won’t take you far in the long term, and can have devastating consequences for your business.

#3: Your Sales Team Will Waste Time, And Won’t Trust You

Bad data will generate bad leads. Bad leads, when passed on to your sales teams, will lead to wasted sales and follow up calls. Wasted follow up calls will cause your sales teams to lose trust in you, so they won’t use the leads you give them.

This could mean anything from incorrect phone numbers, address details, emails pertaining to your leads that sales teams need to initiate conversations with potential customers. This information is absolutely critical for sales teams to trust you.

If sales executives in your company are calling the wrong phone numbers, you might even put your brand at a huge risk if the word spreads in the marketplace. If they send the wrong emails, you’ll put your company’s email campaigns at risk if you’re blacklisted as spammers. And if they talk to the wrong leads, they’ll make no sales.

#4: You Won’t Be Able To Personalize Email Marketing Campaigns

If you’re a B2B marketer, making high ticket sales, you’ll understand the value of personalization in all of your communication with leads. With bad data, you’ll fail the expectations of your target market by including inaccurate information in your communication, also causing unnecessary delays in email follow ups with the leads you generate from inbound marketing campaigns.

A study found that companies that try to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving their queries are 7x more likely to have more meaningful conversations with key decision makers. That’s why timely email follow ups are the key to inbound marketing success. The smallest error or delay in following up with leads can destroy your conversion rates! Personalised email follow ups to qualify leads is only possible with good data.

#5: You Email Account Could Be Blacklisted

Feeding inaccurate data into your marketing automation platform or email marketing tool, is basically the equivalent of feeding it junk. When you launch an email campaign, your emails could bounce back, or be marked as spam by recipients. If a majority of your sent emails get marked as spam, you can be blacklisted by both ISP and your email marketing provider, which can end your career as a B2B marketer!

No Junk email

So What Can You Do To Fix This Problem?

#1: Update Your Leads Using Data Generated From Email Replies

Email campaigns sent to leads generated from inbound marketing campaigns generate a ton of replies with new and updated data contained within the replies. For instance, you could receive an email reply mentioning that the prospect is on leave, providing you with an alternative email address to reach out to in the prospect’s absence.

Such data from email replies can be used to update your existing marketing database, so your emails are well timed, and targeted to the right person. This is exactly how email reply management platform LeadGnome works, by automatically integrating with Marketo (and other popular marketing automation and CRM solutions) so your data is fresh, reliable and ready to use.

The best part about using email replies is that it helps you establish whether your data is bad, or good in the first place. Sometimes the only way to establish this is by making contact with the leads you generate!

#2: Work With A Reliable Data Vendor To Enhance The Quality Of Your Data

It’s possible to buy high-quality data from data vendors but before you do so make sure you check their reputation, and test their data to figure out if the quality of the data they provide is reliable. A lot of data vendors generate this data through sourcing it from the consumer or commercial bureau, publicly available reports, social media and other multiple sources. This means that the data they provide is usually quite good.

Make sure the vendor you work with provides you with an accuracy guarantee, and are able to generate the data for you on demand. Using accurate data will enhance your productivity as a marketer by 57%, as has been found in a research study.

As a guide for deciding which vendor to work with, look for a 95% + email accuracy rate and a 99% phone accuracy rate from the data they provide. If they’re truly interested in building a long term relationship with you, they’ll go to great lengths to give you great data.

#3: Have A High Standard For Qualifying Data You Use In Campaigns

Having a process to filter out bad data, and build on good data can be a great solution. Don’t follow ‘industry benchmarks’ as the yardstick to measure what good or bad data is, but actually examine the quality of data personally. Then fill in the gaps to enhance the quality of the lead before it gets passed onto sales teams. Better yet, automate this process using reply email mining – there’s a ton of data in auto-responses that can maintain and enrich your CRM.

If you can, set a ‘quality standard’ so you have a set of filters to make your data go through before using it for campaigns to connect with prospects.

Wrapping it up

Make sure you avoid data like the plague, and eliminate it from database as soon as possible. You’ll save a ton of time and resources, see conversion rates increase, and earn a solid reputation in the eyes of your sales team!

About the author:

Ryan Gould Guest AuthorRyan Gould
Vice President of Strategy and Marketing Services

Elevation Marketing

From legacy Fortune 100 institutions to inventive start-ups, Ryan brings extensive experience with a wide range of B2B clients. He skillfully architects and manages the delivery of integrated marketing programs, and believes strongly in strategy, not just tactics, that effectively aligns sales and marketing teams within organizations.

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