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The Dollars and Sense of Cleaning Up Your CRM Data

Pipeline to Success - Part 3: The PipelineFew people will disagree that good CRM data is essential for effective marketing. Despite that fact, bad data has become endemic in marketing databases everywhere. Not only does this result in frustration for many marketers (and overtime work for many data stewards), it also has some significant hard costs associated with it. In fact, a few years ago, research from leading research and advisory company, Gartner, indicated that poor-quality data was costing organizations on average $14.2 million annually. On the other hand, clean, correct and complete contact data can positively impact your bottom line and lead to return on your marketing investments. Let’s count the ways (and cents)….

The Benefits of Good CRM Data Quality

Clean data can:

  1. Increase opportunities to reach potential clients… You spend a great deal of time coming up with content – but that time is wasted if it doesn’t reach the right audiences.
  2. Improve your response rates… You can reach the contacts who really need your services – and would be most likely to hire you.
  3. Allow your sales/business development efforts to be more efficient and productive… Your team can make more and better-informed and targeted pitches for new business.
  4. Allow you to measure results and fine-tune your marketing initiatives… Use advanced analytics to identify who is reading your messages and send them more targeted information in the future.
  5. Save money on mailing costs… (And yes, some organizations do still use snail mail). Save money on wasted postage, costs associated with excessively large email distribution lists and extra staff needed to clean up and prepare lists for mailings. (We actually had a Client that mailed very expensive concert tickets to a bad list of Clients and prospects right before the show and had more than half of them returned!)

Conversely, bad data can:

  1. Waste your time… More time spent chasing accurate contact information means less time to develop business – and less business as a result.
  2. Annoy contacts who receive irrelevant, excessive or duplicative information… More content is not always better content – especially if you are unable to reach key audiences who really want to receive your communications – or send duplicative or unwanted messages to those who don’t.
  3. Create missed opportunities to communicate with important contacts… A bad email address for a good prospect is a lost opportunity.
  4. Reduce your response rate… Unless you regularly research and correct bounced emails, you won’t know when key contacts change roles and your campaigns will miss their targets.
  5. Potentially place you on the blacklist and your communications in the Junk folder… Unwanted e-mails are frequently reported as SPAM, which can actually prevent your business e-mails from being delivered. (When this happens, it’s not fun or easy to fix, so make list management a priority.)

Cleaning up and maintaining your marketing data does require time and resources, but the investment makes good business sense. You’ll gain more opportunities for new business, save on marketing and business development costs and enhance your reputation with Clients and prospects. The bottom line is that good, clean data is good for business. Make ‘cents’?

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