When done correctly, list scrubbing or data cleaning can do wonders for your business. When done incorrectly, it can derail your marketing efforts and leave you worse off than when you began the process.
Most B2B and B2C lists are outdated within six to 12 months. That is why it is so important that you make sure you have the most up-to-date information possible if you want your sales and marketing strategies to be successful.
Successful data cleaning will benefit your business in three important ways:
- It will detect and remove any errors and inconsistencies contained within your databases and lists, whether you are using those databases and lists alone or merging them with others.
- It will eliminate the need for time-consuming and costly manual inspections or computer programs.
- It will allow all of your sales and marketing processes to work seamlessly together.
Sounds like something you should consider, right? Absolutely. The danger, however, is when you undertake list scrubbing or data cleansing without a clear plan. If you are looking to embark on this process, there are some important things you must do in order to ensure success.
- Pinpoint where most errors are occurring. When you pinpoint where most data errors are occurring you can better get to the root of the problem. Speak to employees so that they can tell you where they are encountering mistakes. Be sure and track those mistakes.
- Begin with a single point of entry for all data. Make sure lists or any other data that is entered into your database is standardized. This will make it easier and faster to catch any mistakes.
- Validate the accuracy of all data. Where you get your customer information lists from is critical to your success. Work only with reputable list companies or business-to-business telemarketing services firms.
- Ditch the duplicates. Always use tools that identify duplicates immediately. Duplicates can wreak havoc on databases.
- Append data. Once your database and lists have been scrubbed, it is always a good idea to use third-party sources to append your data. This will allow for more and better data to be captured. It also will allow you to better segment and target customers and prospects.