What?! Cleaning your marketing data is a waste of time? Yes, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t important to have clean data. The ultimate point is how and when the data gets cleaned.
After all, clean data remains an essential part of any technology-based marketing effort. Ensuring the information fed into your company’s marketing process stays consistent and free from errors makes it more effective. Scrubbing the data in the middle of the process is less reliable and simply wastes resources.
In the modern business world, data integrity plays a key role in the success of any data-driven marketing effort. Because of this, your organization needs to make marketing data governance an important part of your MarTech efforts. Being proactive prevents being stuck with messy data at the wrong time.
Standardized Marketing Forms Ensure
Normalized data at the beginning of your marketing process helps achieve a positive return on your efforts. The best way to accomplish this is by using standardized marketing forms.
Of course, cleaning the data throughout the process remains an option, but plan on doing it over and over again with each new marketing plan. If you don’t, your time and money will be wasted.
Using standard forms is an important part of marketing data governance. They ensure data gets entered in a common fashion. Addresses and postal codes especially benefit from this approach. In the end, normalized data makes it easier to import into your CRM suite, quickly delivering actionable information your sales team needs.
Marketers simply become more effective when provided with all relevant information about a potential client. It’s an essential part of turning leads into customers. In short, any well-organized sales or marketing automation process depends on accurate, clean data.
Challenges Normalizing Fields on a Marketing Form
Let’s take a closer look at a few examples of the difficulties inherent in cleaning marketing form data.
Example 1: Job Titles
In many cases, the data field for a job title allows the entry of free text with little to no validation. Messy data, in this case, makes it difficult for your marketing team to segment new data or target the right people with further content.
It is possible to use a third-party application to perform a fuzzy match on job title (or similar fields) as part of data processing, but these solutions can be costly and are not 100% accurate. Of course, spending valuable resources manually correcting the data is another option. We already talked about why that’s a poor idea.
Ultimately, normalizing the job title on the marketing form using a drop-down remains the best approach. It’s a simple example of how standardized forms as part of your company’s marketing data governance ensures the data is clean when first captured.
Example 2: Validating Company Name for Marketing Automation
In order to engage in account-based marketing – especially through marketing automation – the company name on all of your contacts must be accurate and consistent. Considering the massive number of businesses currently operating in the world, using a drop-down to select a company name on a form is simply not possible. Still, validating the name of any business is an important aspect of marketing data governance. Just look at the legal kerfuffle between The Beatles’ Apple Corps and Apple Computer.
In this scenario, using a smart-form solution able to integrate with a corporate data service, like Demandbase, provides the means to validate the company name when it’s first entered. Services like this also provide additional firmographic data for further segmentation, lead scoring or account-based activities.
Example 3: Correctly Capturing Country
Country is an important piece of marketing automation data. Your company likely routes leads to different teams based on the location of a potential customer. GDPR compliance and language considerations also come into play.
In fact, read how GDPR has forced us to maintain good marketing practices. Properly capturing and validating the country name remains another essential part of clean marketing data. In this case, using a standardized form with embedded validation is the key.
Data Governance is Important Throughout Your Marketing Process
Ultimately, marketing data governance helps your business succeed. Standardized forms provide the clean data you need at the start of the marketing process. Don’t waste valuable time scrubbing data when it’s too late.
At GatedContent.com, we’re experts in the standardized forms your automated marketing process needs. Our forms ensure clean data gets captured from the start, saving your firm the wasted resources that siphon productivity, and will prove to be an all-important asset once you decide to scale your marketing and establish a data-driven enterprise.
We provide a solution that easily integrates with Demandbase and other services, ensuring company name, country, and other difficult fields get validated upon data entry. To learn more about how we can help your company succeed, check out the following case study.