How Much Are Your Data Problems Costing You?

It’s no secret that data is the key to making a lot of your email marketing efforts work.  Still, companies are slow to make the investments needed to build a relationship marketing data ecosystem that can power a sophisticated email program.  

Perhaps it’s time to think about data differently. Many companies that I have worked with over the years often cite lack of budget and IT resources as the reason for not doing a better job of managing data.  The problem with this way of thinking is that it completely disregards the amount of potential revenue that could be realized through reducing major losses. Here are the areas where companies are hemorrhaging revenue as a result of not focusing on putting their data house in order:

We all know that time is money, but have you ever calculated the actual number of working hours spent moving/manipulating/massaging data used for your email program over a year? Think of the number of people in your bucket brigade, as I call it—those moving buckets of data down an assembly line to put out your data fires. Ph.D. Thomas C. Redman refers to the manual handling and correcting of data as a “hidden data factory.”



What does your bucket brigade or hidden data factory look like?  How much time could you save in a year by getting some of your data problems solved through IT work to automate processes? Where could your colleagues focus their time if they didn’t have to spend so much time in the weeds?  Answering these questions could lead to additional revenue streams that have been unrealized.

In a time when consumer expectations are leaps and bounds ahead of what marketers can execute, data becomes a critical pivot point for moving from basic to sophisticated marketing and gaining long-term loyalty from your customers. Consumers today have little tolerance for brands that don’t understand their needs and rely on batch messages.

Brands that win the experience game by collecting customer data and applying it to their strategies will beat the competition. By doing nothing, your company will fall short against competitors, and revenue will go out the door with customers that defect. A poor experience due to data issues could also impact your ability to acquire new customers that don’t like what they see during their first moments exploring your brand.

In the post-digital age, it’s easier than ever for brand reputation to be affected by vocal customers. Brands can’t control the conversation anymore through PR messaging.  Social media has made it so customers are holding the megaphone.  Are you sending campaigns that could negatively affect your customers and cause them to be vocal? Is your targeting off and causing you to make assumptions about your customers that could be deemed offensive or off-putting?

Every single touch point with your customers is a chance to make or break it with them.  Get your data issues worked out so that customers recommend you to friends instead of spreading a story about a terrible experience. You need your customer to tell your story, so make sure it’s a good one.

Often, companies aren’t even aware of the effect of the data issues they have, so by looking more closely and creating a compelling business case, you just might get the resources you need to finally get out of the weeds and do marketing the way you’ve always wanted to.

What are some ways that you’ve been able to solve some of your data issues?  Let me know in the comments.

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