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

Data recently overtook big oil as the most valuable commodity on the planet.

That’s astounding – at least to me.

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. 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. Basically, all those 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 as a whole, it is critical for marketers to follow the current best practices for managing, storing and manipulating their data. In a recent survey, 64% of marketing executives “strongly agree” that data-driven marketing is crucial to success.

 

Establish a Process for Data Management

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

These sorts of routines are critical to keeping your database intact. Monitor your email deliverability and the success of the phone calls you make from the database.

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

 

Establish Data Standards

One of the first things that you should do to ensure that your data is up to snuff is make a person or a department in charge of managing it. Oftentimes, that responsibility is passed to marketing, where it gets neglected. Don’t let that happen. Make it someone’s job to ensure that your data is solid.

Then you need to define what solid data means to you. This includes what fields need to be filled for the data entry to be complete. When you get new data, you’ll want to check it 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 create one. Incomplete or incorrect data undermines the quality of your database.

 

Data Hygiene

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

Another part of this is ensuring that you constantly improve 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?

 

Storage

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 recent 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, that may lose you your job.

And that’s just one of the threats that could take down your date 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

Seriously.

You need new data to keep your database growing. That 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 title changes, 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 will result in better marketing campaigns and a better ROI. This, in turn, could lead to a higher value placed in your marketing department and more backing from executives.

 


 

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? Let us know in the comments section.

 


 

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