Everything starts with data. The more you understand your customers, the greater the chance of a successful campaign. And the good news is; you don’t need expensive technology or analytics experts. You can access a lot of information for free from:

  • your website analytics
  • social media
  • online reviews
  • listening on forums
  • or you can pay for data.

Our research shows  people are 7-10 times more likely to respond to relevant and targeted messages so it makes economic sense to invest in data. A profile report costs just a few hundred pounds for a detailed snap shot of your customers.

But it’s what you do with data that counts.

First you should have a very clear idea on what you’re trying to discover. Keep it simple, for example you could ask:

  • Who are your customers?
  • What’s their demographics?
  • Where are they?
  • What are their behaviours? (related to your product or service)
  • What are their interests?

Then dig a bit deeper to find more out about your brand and how it’s positioned in the market:

  • Who are your competitors?
  • How do you compare to them?
  • How do customers perceive your brand?
  • How high are your products / services ranked in the market?

By having a clear understanding on what you’re trying to discover and combining different sources of data, you’ll start to paint a more holistic picture of your business and customers. You’ll start to uncover motivations that are driving customer purchasing decisions and behaviours.

Correctly analysing and interpreting your data and turning it in to actionable insights will boost sales.

How often should you clean?

It is recommended to try to cleanse your data once a month but definitely before any marketing activity and at least once a quarter.

Here are some tips on data cleansing

Standardise the format – set a standard format for collecting data and stick to it. This avoids confusion and reduces errors. If data is collected uniformly, the process of setting up a Direct Mail is much smoother.

Dedupe – Run a dedupe on the raw data to take out any duplicates. You may have a system that does this for you but if not excel does a pretty good job. It’s always important to dedupe across multiple fields to eg. company/home address, first name and surname.

Monthly health check – put in a process to check data regularly. We advise you to do this every month but it depends on the size of your database. A typical check will match your data to deceased and ‘gone away’ files. This will improve the quality instantly.

Give data an owner – data cleansing will never happen if it’s just tapped onto the end of somebody’s ‘to do’ list. It’s much better to make someone in your business the owner of the data, responsible for keeping it up to date and accurate.

Invest in data cleansing software – for larger databases, manual cleansing might be too inefficient. It’s worth researching the many programmes available to automate the whole cleansing process.

Old and inaccurate databases cost your business money and potentially your customers. If you are serious about engaging customers you must have clean data as it’s the only way to create relevant, targeted messages. If nothing else, it saves you money!

If you would like more advice on data give us a call or pop in for a brew. We’d love to see you.