Patrick Whelan

The success of your marketing campaigns hinges on having excellent, reliable data. But how can you be sure that you are working with data you can trust? Here are five tips for getting it right.

  1. Clean and update your data. When was the last time you ran your database through a mailing list cleansing and updating routine? Ensure that your mailing list is complete, accurate, and up to date. Even the most well-crafted direct mail campaign won’t be successful if the mailers themselves don’t get there!
  2. Enhance your data. You can do a lot with someone’s name and address (more than you might think), but having additional demographic or behavioral data can help you do even more. Use third-party resources to add information that helps you better understand your customers, create more targeted segments, and improve the relevance of your messaging.
  3. Verify your data. So, you’ve bought additional data to enhance your campaigns. How do you know the data you’ve purchased is accurate? Verification tools run data against a series of algorithms or an external database to ensure it’s right. Ask if your third-party data provider verifies its data before you make your purchase.
  4. Consolidate it. One of the biggest bugaboos in data-driven messaging is data in silos. Consolidate your data from different departments (such as marketing, sales, and purchasing) into a unified view of your customers. Is Susan Jones, who shops online, the same Susie P. Jones, who buys from your catalog? You need to know. If it is, ensure that everything you know about Susan is in the same place.
  5. Standardize it. It needs to be standardized to gain accurate insights from your data (including identifying relationships and patterns to inform your personalization and targeting). For example, if your system has your customers’ birthdates stored in multiple formats, such as October 1, 1963, Oct. 1, 1963, 10/1/63, and 10/1/1963, the system won’t “see” them as the same.

Your data is your greatest marketing asset. Let us help you make the most of it.


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