“Stop paying lip service to data and start actually tackling it.” Corinne Sklar’s recent post for MarketingProfs.com bears this title. And it’s a sentiment to which I can certainly relate. In our experience, some organizations talk a lot about better data management, but they do very little to make sure this actually happens. Good membership data doesn’t just materialize on its own. Associations need to put processes in place to ensure that data is well-maintained.
Good data management policies and practices are particularly important at time when marketing campaigns are only as successful as the data used to implement them. As Sklar observes, “marketers need to deliver the right message to the right customer at the right time. Without trustworthy data, that level of personalization is nearly impossible.” She offers these tips for tackling your data and setting the foundation for marketing success:
- Constrain data input. Standardize what users can enter (specifically, eliminate free text fields) to move toward cleaner data.
- Integrate the right data, not the most data. Pinpoint the desired outcome of a campaign and find the most relevant data sources to support it. Access to too much data is just as cumbersome as access to too little data.
- Keep data up to date. Trusted third-party data sources that consistently update customer information can reduce the manual burden on employees and limit errors.
I would agree that these are excellent practices to put in place so that associations can get the most benefit from the technology solutions they’ve implemented. On the first point about standardizing data input, MemberNation users have access to apps through the Salesforce AppExchange that help with maintaining consistency and eliminating duplication of data.
It would surprise me of if most organizations weren’t able to identify at least one or two areas in which they could improve their overall management of data. What might they be for your association? Whatever they are, you’ll want to start tackling them today rather than waiting for tomorrow.