Driving results from your marketing automation strategy is always going to circle back to one key area: data. That’s right. Data is the key to your success as a marketer.
From preparing data for customer onboarding and implementation, to launching new demand gen programs, or simply keeping data storage costs down, clean data is central to it all. Ensuring you have clean data ready to go for your next big marketing initiative comes down to your data hygiene processes and workflows.
Data hygiene processes usually look for the following data records to either update, merge or delete:
- Bad Emails
- Duplicate Records
- Incomplete Records
- Unstandardized Contact Information
- Suppression Lists
- Hard/Soft Bounces
By implementing best practices and workflow data management rules centered on data hygiene, you can root out where the above data may be causing issues, and ensure you are setup for success. Ultimately, you’ll also be able to deliver improved lead tracking, personalization, and engagement from a clean database.
So you’re on board with revamping your data hygiene processes, but where do you begin? Here are 5 best practices to keep in mind as you embark on your data cleaning journey (and remember, you can always call on a partner like Leadous to help).
Think beyond the admin
How are you or your team using your database now, and how do you plan to use it in the future?
If you don’t know what your internal stakeholders (including marketing, sales, customer success, c-suite leadership and of course, database admins) are looking for in the data, it makes it harder to keep a well-ordered database that works for everyone. It also probably means you’re saving a lot of superfluous data that’s costing you money to store.
Take a look at the data your teams need, and make sure it matches up with the data and fields you’re currently collecting.
Consider each of your internal stakeholder’s needs for the CRM (what are they trying to accomplish with the data or analyze within the data) and list out the information you’ll need in order to achieve those goals.
Setting up the data with your end goals in mind ensures you’re using the right fields, collecting the right data, and getting the most out of your system.
Data standardization is your friend
Once you’ve got a firm understanding of who is using the data and why, start applying some common standardization across it all.
Use the same field labels and define terms for team members that may not know them. Stay consistent, and encourage anyone using the database to do the same – in fact document your standards and share them. And then share them again in a quarter and the quarter after that!
Simple workflows to add include verifying email addresses, standardizing mailing addresses, abbreviations, and numbers.
Make sure it’s all in one place
If you already have your CRM and marketing automation platform working and talking together, kudos! (If not, let’s talk, we can help.) But are there duplicate contact records across systems? Do you have automated workflows to flag and merge those records?
Map out the journey of your data and start documenting and standardizing the workflows that need to happen to keep that data clean across systems. Make sure your organization is in agreement with where the single source of truth is for all your data, and stick to it.
Roll up your sleeves
Your business goals and the extent of your existing data hygiene processes will dictate how extensive your database cleanup needs to go. Do you need a database overhaul? Or just to update a few contact record fields? It helps to go back to the goals of your database and start there.
Are you trying to find loyal clients to run upsell campaigns? Re-engage stale leads? Start organizing data according to the goal you’re looking for, all the while building programs to clean out duplicates and inactive contacts (or putting them into a re-engagement campaign).
This process can be tedious at times, but there are many experts out there who can take on that burden to quickly and efficiently clean up your data. Check out our data hygiene services and contact us if you’d like more information.
Mark your calendar
The purpose of a good data hygiene strategy is getting processes and automated workflows in place that mean you won’t have to do it all the time. Once you have these processes in place, try to still schedule regular data check-ins to make sure all is running smoothly and nothing needs to be adjusted. Even a weekly 10 minute check on your various data hygiene cleanup workflows is usually sufficient to stay on top of any new data issues.
Looking for more information? Leadous experts are ready to help, with best practice driven strategies to get your data clean. Contact us now.