Only by intelligent data processing can businesses be confident their sales and marketing efforts are reaching the right audience at the right time, says Harvey Sarjant, UK MD SirData
Whatever your business, you’re likely to be increasingly reliant on your own customer data to drive your sales and marketing operations. Ensuring your own first party data is up to date and maintaining the latest intelligence on your customers – present and past – is vital. Onsite and your CRM, should be the basis to retain new and live accounts.
Online retailers, for example, generate lots of historical purchase data, which they then use to ‘re-target’ former customers. This can work well, but it has a tendency to narrow down audiences rather than attract new ones, and can prove annoying for former customers.
To target new customers, you can buy data from external sources relevant to the audiences you are trying to reach. The problem is that, unlike your own first party data, you have limited information about it in terms of how it is collated, how accurately it has been segmented and how old it is. Even if there are some trade bodies such as IAB Tech Lab and Data Marketing Association who offer guide lines and test clusters, it can often be a rather hit and miss affair, which is far from ideal when you’re basing a sales and marketing campaign around such data.
This is a dilemma that many companies and their marketing teams are currently facing. They are caught in a battle between data accuracy and scale. Add to this the ongoing frustration over the lack of transparency that exists in what makes up third party data and you have all the ingredients for a growing confidence crisis over the suitability of consumer data, something that is currently undermining sales and marketing efforts.
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