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Don’t Ditch Your Data — Fix It!

Think you don't own enough data to do personalized marketing? That might not be the case. Often marketers do own enough data, but that data is not centralized or is incomplete or inaccurate. If you fall into the latter category, the answer isn’t ditching your dreams of personalization. It’s fixing the problems in your data.

The first step is to figure out exactly where you are and what you need to do. This often involves contacting a data specialist who can analyze your data. While this sounds daunting, it’s really no different than taking your car to a repair shop. The mechanic hooks up the car to a machine that spits out a report telling you where the problems are. Data specialists do much the same thing.

One data specialist gives the example of a data profile it created for a Canadian retailer. The retailer had plenty of data and wanted to use it for 1:1 print marketing, so the data specialist ran a data audit. One of the most glaring challenges that immediately came to light was that the retailer had addresses for only 50% of its customers. It did, however, have phone numbers. The data specialist contacted a list house that maps phone numbers to names and addresses provided the retailer with the missing information.

In another example, the data specialist found that each one of the retailer’s stores was gathering customer data in isolation. Each retail customer might have two, three, even five different customer IDs, one for each store in which they shopped. Once again, telephone numbers came to the rescue. The data specialist used each shopper’s telephone number as a common point of contact to consolidate each shopper’s data from each store into a single marketing database.

Seemingly overwhelming problems often have simple solutions. A basic diagnostic test is often half the battle. So if you think your data needs a check-up, don’t panic. Let us coordinate the project so that you get just the solution you need.