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From Tamara’s Desk: 5 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Database

NetProspex June 26, 2012 Comments Off

Tamara Graves is our Senior Director of Demand Generation here at NetProspex, driving pipeline activity and opportuntiy creation for our company, but more importantly, helping our entire team understand the day-to-day needs and problems of our clients working in B2B demand generation.

She recently contributed to a post on Silverpop’s blog by Ellen Valentine:

How’s your spring cleaning going this year? If you’re like me, you’ve been putting it off until the last minute. The clock is ticking as we say hello to Summer, so plunge into that messy closet, see what’s hiding under the bed and dare to reach back to the deepest corners of the fridge.

Many marketers have allowed their databases to grow a little unruly, letting unknown entities lurk in the depths. Fortunately, there’s still time to whip your data into shape. Follow these five steps to get your data spic and span, enabling you to connect with customers and prospects more strongly and ultimately drive revenue:

1) Assess the (messy) situation. Before diving into your data, take a look and see what you have. Are there any records or pieces of records in your database that you weren’t aware of? Email addresses that belong to competitors or are clearly fictitious (Mickey Mouse)? Records that don’t have complete sets, or belong to people who aren’t the right buyers for your product? Get a feel for what needs to be scrubbed clean or tossed out with the trash.

2) Build piles and sort through them. Think of your data as a closet you’re cleaning out—you need to sort your data assets into a few different piles, then work your way through each one. To help simplify the process, consider adding a field for “buyer persona” and writing a query to sort your database and capture who your buyers are.

Also, start thinking about what you want to do with your respective piles. Do you want to keep the “non-buyers” group in the messaging mix because they’ve shown interest? What about people who seem to fit the buyer profile but just aren’t responding? You’ll want to get rid of some data sets, archive some until future notice, and try a different tactic right away on others. And remember that you don’t have to go it alone—sometimes third parties can help with this task.

Don’t limit your analysis to inactives. If there are customers who have just bought once, what can you do to get them to buy again? For those who have bought from you multiple times, perhaps an upsell campaign would be productive.

3) Fill in empty spaces. As you’re cleaning the closet, you may realize sections of your wardrobe are pretty empty. Likewise, you may notice big gaps in your data. If you don’t have enough data to do segmentation, you’ll have to think about how to remedy this situation. Maybe you’ll need to append data, or perhaps you’ll want to develop an email campaign or promotion geared toward encouraging contacts to provide additional information.

4) Learn from the experience. Just as you might discover you need to reassess your pantry layout because you’re using some items more than expected and others less (sorry, Mr. Pasta Maker), you’re bound to learn some unexpected things as you’re sifting through your data. For example, maybe there’s somebody that’s buying from you that you didn’t think would be in your wheelhouse. Use the occasion to study your contacts and see if there’s anything you can to do to turn the dial on either side—both re-engaging inactives and turning active customers into even bigger fans.

5) Don’t delay—get started today. Whether you’re jolting inactives from their slumber, trying to get one-time buyers to buy again, or looking to build loyalty among your best customers, think how you can take them to the next level of engagement. Ideas might include:

  • Reaching out to them via a different channel (e.g. phone or print)
  • Offering a Snooze option
  • Asking them to update their preferences or tell you more about themselves via a survey
  • Inviting them to like you on Facebook, follow you on Twitter or add you on LinkedIn
  • Creating emails promoting items that fit with customers’ previous purchases
  • Promoting new thought capital, changes to your website or cool giveaways

So what are you waiting for? Clear the cobwebs out of your database and start engaging your prospects and customers today. You might be able to streamline and eliminate a bunch of inactive, inaccurate and incomplete records. You also just might find some (new) loyal fans, followers and, better yet, qualified leads.

Download the Data Quality Management Guide

Read the original post on Silverpop’s blog.

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