Turn your customer data into actionable insight

Do you trust your data? If the answer is no, you're not alone - data quality and decay are widely recognised problems that affect organisations across all industries and countries. D&B research indicates data decays at a rate of one to three per cent each month on average, which means that up to 10 per cent of addresses would be outdated in a mailing database that hasn't been reviewed in six months.

These figures demonstrate that failing to maintain a close watch on the accuracy and freshness of a database  will result in the rapid deterioration of a valuable asset. The other side of the equation, the cost of bad data quality, is also significant as it prevents businesses from developing a comprehensive understanding of their customers and restricts the identification of new leads.

In an environment where executives are under pressure to improve the return on marketing investment associated with campaigns, businesses must find a way to trust their information.

This means focusing on the three pillars of quality data: accuracy, completeness and timeliness. Accurate data is about having the right information about the right businesses, while completeness is providing breadth and depth of data. Lastly, timeliness is about frequently updating your database to keep it fresh.  Once you've established a data quality baseline you turn your information into actionable insight which will allow you to:

  1. Understand and better serve your existing customer base

    To gain detailed insight into your customers, it's critical to use analytical, predictive and profiling tools to segment your database. This will enable you to find out which sectors your customers reside in, what size businesses use your products and other demographic trends.

    Research also reveals firms should be doing more to keep their current customers satisfied, with a recent Forrester Consulting survey revealing 66 per cent of executives are seeking to improve their customer engagement strategy. To improve customer retention, organisations should take a targeted and customised approach.

  2. Capitalise on existing relationships

    One of the easiest ways you can contribute to business growth is to capitalise on existing relationships. By delving deeper into your customers' profile and analysing corporate family tree information you can reveal instances where relationships are not fully maximised, thus uncovering new opportunities to drive incremental revenue. 

  3. Chase and prioritise the right prospects

    Savvy marketers recognise that selecting prospects based solely on how much revenue they earn will not generate solid return on investment. Instead, they need to focus on reducing the cost of acquisition per customer by chasing the right prospects  from the outset.

    Prioritising the right prospects also allows organisations to operate at maximum effectiveness while reducing the amount of time spent contacting 'cold leads'. This is as simple as consolidating all prospect details into one database, enriching the records with demographic information and matching prospects to your best customer profiles.

    One of the most valuable assets a company has is its own customer data. Reliable customer insights drive more targeted sales and marketing efforts; improve efficiency; better target resources and lower the cost of customer acquisition. By developing a deep understanding of your customers, you can up the ante with your next marketing campaign.

This is an excerpt from D&B's upcoming white paper, Up the ante: Taking marketing to new heights. To request a copy email marketingdept@dnb.com.au.

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