Data is More Valuable Than Oil – Best Practices for Managing It

Data overtook big oil as the most valuable commodity on the planet in the past couple years.

That’s astounding.

Think about that. Consumer data is the biggest global commodity on the planet. It beats out all other physical goods.

We are now in a data economy, meaning that the companies with the largest coffers of data are on top. Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft are the five largest global companies and it’s all because of the sheer amount of data they collect and utilize.

We live in a world where virtually everything you do leaves a digital trace. It happens when you use Google Maps to navigate somewhere or scan your card at a local shop. Digital data fragments are everywhere.

The way most of these models work is that companies, like Facebook, create a product to draw in users, use the data they collect from those users to improve their products, then use that to draw even more users, which then allows them to collect more data. All free services you use from these data giants are being paid for with your data.

Which brings us to marketing databases. With the importance of data in modern marketing and the global economy, it’s critical for marketers to follow the current best practices for managing, storing and manipulating their data. In this survey, 64% of marketing executives “strongly agree” that data-driven marketing is crucial to success.

Establish a Process for Data Management

Creating data management routines is like establishing habits to do the dishes or vacuum your floors. Maybe you alternate the washing of the dishes every other day, and the floors get cleaned every Friday.

These sorts of routines are critical to keeping your home clean and your database intact. Monitor your email deliverability and the success of the phone calls you make from the database. Then maintain your database depending on the amount of hard/soft bounces and the number of phone calls that don’t lead to the correct individual.

Having a methodology for your data management and hygiene makes it, so your data doesn’t suffer from the natural wear and tear of time.

Establish Data Standards

Make a person or a department in charge of managing your data. Often, that responsibility is passed to marketing, where it can get neglected. Don’t let that happen. Make it someone’s job to ensure that your data is solid. Someone needs to own the process.

Then you need to define what “good” data means to you. Determine which fields need to be filled for a single data entry to be complete. When you get new data, you’ll want to check to ensure it meets these standards.

If you don’t have a method for fixing new data before it is placed in your database, you need to need to create one. Incomplete or incorrect data undermines the quality of your database.

Data Hygiene

Stop hanging on to contacts that are not working. If you get soft bounces from these email addresses, be sure to check into them and decide whether you should remove them from your database.

Another part of this is ensuring that you’re continually improving your data. Consider areas that you would like to improve upon. This could be as simple as adding an extra field so you can segment better.

According to research from Aberdeen Group, data that is properly cleaned and segmented needs only 64 marketing touchpoints, whereas data that hasn’t requires between 329 (the industry average) to 622 touches.

Why waste all that effort?


Consider which storage solutions will be the best for your marketing data. Although many organizations keep their marketing data local, this is not always the best option.

Consider the ransomware that hijacked the hard drive of a user’s computer at the cost of $300, a price that climbs as the hours pass, before all the data on the hard drive is finally deleted.

Imagine the mess that would cause if this ransomware had gotten hold of the machine that you store all your marketing data on. It would be disastrous and if you were responsible, you may lose your job.

And that’s just one of the threats that could take down your data if you keep it all in-house. Fires, floods, even people you know could be a threat to your data.

It’s for this reason that many companies are turning to cloud storage for their data. While there are some security concerns for this method as well, this can be one of the safest and most affordable options for smaller marketing departments.

Bring in New Data


You need new data to keep your database growing. Fresh data is money. When you release content, make sure the very best of it requires an exchange of user data.

While organically built lists are best, it can also be worth your while to purchase leads from a company that sells top-of-funnel leads. Make sure you verify these leads and assess them for quality and segmentation requirements before you start nurture on them.

Fresh data replaces data that naturally becomes out of date, as employees leave jobs, their titles change, etc. Bringing in new data keeps your database from withering and instead makes it grow.

With these tactics, you can take your share of the world’s most valuable commodity and increase its value to your business. This results in better marketing campaigns and a better ROI. In turn, could lead to a higher value placed in your marketing department and more backing from executives.


Let us know what you think: 

  • What do you do to keep your data safe, secure and up to date?
  • Do these processes change over time?
  • Did we miss anything in our list?


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