How Data Integrity Issues Are Created At Every Stage of a Marketing Campaign

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Are your marketing campaigns causing data integrity issues?

Here’s a good way to check. Go into your marketing automation software or CRM. Is all the data standardized and uniform so it is actionable? Are all leads segmented properly? Do you have normalized account names and unique contact records? Are they attributed to a specific lead source, campaign or tactic?

If you answered no to any of these questions, poor data governance has made your leads and analytics useless. Your answer is probably to manually go in to clean your data but the truth is, the root cause of your data integrity issues is in how you are collecting lead data. It is unfortunate how small inefficiencies in your marketing processes become major, crippling issues.

How can your current marketing processes, campaigns and lead generation strategies lead to poor data integrity? What are the downfalls of not maintaining data hygiene? Let’s look at how the average martech manager operates a standard marketing campaign and identify where valuable lead data could be falling through the cracks.

Downfalls of Not Maintaining Data Integrity

For this example, let’s pretend the campaign manager of a specific region comes to you looking to run a campaign promoting an event. As is usually the case, you need to create and launch the campaign in a very short timeframe.

Step 1: Unable to Segment Target Audience

You log into Eloqua, HubSpot, Marketo or another marketing automation platform to create segmented data lists based on the brief. Unfortunately, your existing lead data is a mess. You may find:

  • You don’t have complete job titles, industry information, locations or company names
  • Lead information is spread out over multiple different custom fields
  • Data isn’t normalized. Leads list their company as “ABC Corp”, “ABC”, and “A.B.C. Corporation”.

You’ve been capturing data in a way that doesn’t allow you to effectively and efficiently use it.

Now, instead of a simple segmentation, your marketing team must manually segment as many leads as possible into this campaign. This is an extremely time-consuming process. Since many leads are missing relevant information, you must decide whether to leave them out of the campaign or risk sending to contacts that will find the information completely irrelevant.

Step 2: Lengthy Process to Create Campaign Materials

You will most likely go through previous and existing work to find emails, landing pages and forms that can be copied and re-used for the new campaign. This saves time, until:

  1. You need to customize your web form for the campaign with a new custom field.
  2. This requires getting the web development team involved which usually takes weeks of lead time.
  3. The web development team requires approval from the data layer team to add a new custom field.
  4. Since there are so many complications from creating web forms and managing fields across multiple websites, regions and languages, these teams are both backlogged.
  5. You are able to get the task escalated, but it still takes weeks, even without the added complication of errors or development bugs.

With these setbacks, you launch your event promotion campaign with only a couple of weeks left until the event. Despite your best efforts, you’ll later learn that some of the copied and pasted elements from past campaigns still have their old tracking data. Oops.

Step 3: Troubleshoot Issues with Marketing Technology Integrations

Before the event, there is another issue. You see the number of event registrations showing up in your marketing automation solution but the campaign manager still sees zero registrations in their CRM. This is unsurprising as 54% of marketers find integrating data across platforms is a critical challenge with data-driven marketing.

This requires several days of troubleshooting what is causing an issue with the integration. Perhaps it was an issue with the Salesforce campaign ID not being properly captured in the campaign web form.

In the end, the leads captured in Eloqua are manually updated in Salesforce, requiring even more time commitment and slowing down engagement with these leads.

Step 4: Attempt Campaign Measurement and Attribution

The campaign has finally launched, but are the meager number of leads you generated of any value for future sales and marketing efforts?

The campaign manager wants to know where the leads came from to measure the ROI of the different channels used and segment them for future communications. Unfortunately, you don’t have this information. Here is what may have gone wrong:

  • The last campaign’s form you copied didn’t have fields to capture UTM tracking codes.
  • The emails and social media posts used didn’t have the right UTM tracking codes on their links.
  • Somebody forgot to add a conversion pixel for paid search traffic.
  • Another marketing campaign created a similar custom field to the one you created, causing confusion between the two.

While you can (manually) fix these issues after the fact, any lead source data you could have collected is now lost forever.

You hope that no campaign is as disorganized as this example, but the truth is that none of these issues are uncommon. Even one of the setbacks above can cause data integrity problems that make all your campaign and lead data useless for reporting and future marketing efforts. Most importantly, any of the manual processes used to fix these mistakes become impossible as your marketing scales.

Maintaining Data Integrity Through Web Form Optimization

Most of the problems that arise during this campaign can be solved through more organized and integrated processes during the lead capture stage. Using a solution such as GatedContent.com for optimizing web forms and integrating all contact conversion solutions with your marketing automation and CRM solutions eliminates these problems. It also allows for a more successful and measurable campaign:

  • Instant Lead Segmentation: With GatedContent.com installed, lead data is already in a good place because it has been captured correctly. With all contact fields organized, normalized and complete, it is easy to build a well-targeted audience.
  • Easily Create Campaign Content: Instead of copying old campaign materials which come with old UTM tags and metadata, you build landing pages and web forms using a standard form template from the GatedContent.com library. Creating a new custom field is simple with a dropdown that provides multiple choices that already map to fields in your marketing automation solution - reducing duplicate fields and the time it takes to create them.
  • Simple Martech Integration: GatedContent.com automatically integrates with Eloqua, Salesforce, Marketo and other solutions to maintain a consistent lead database across your entire marketing stack.
  • Automatic Lead Source Attribution: The form templates used automatically capture UTM tracking codes and fire conversion pixels. All leads have complete attribution to allow you to measure the ROI of all your channels and lead sources and create accurate campaign reports.

If you’d like to learn more about how GatedContent.com can help with your data integrity, contact us today!

Tim Bohn

Article by Tim Bohn

Head of Product Development, GatedContent.com

After 15+ years of technology and development, Tim moved to cross over into the marketing world where for the past 10 years he has been working to help multi-national corporates build best-in-class marketing technology eco-systems.