In a world that has gone absolutely berserk over futuristic MarTech – particularly solutions that leverage AI and big data – marketers must remain grounded to deliver tangible results today. Not that you should shun innovation, but recognize that your executive and sales stakeholders need you to continue delivering great results from the proven tools you already have. For many, the most strategic of those tools is your marketing database.

Let’s discuss how you can take a few simple steps to ensure your database remains super-clean and delivers competitive advantage on a consistent basis.

Look Out for the Database Dirt

Your marketing database is only as good as the valid data it contains. Unfortunately, attrition dirties five percent of your data each month – and that happens even while you are doing things well, such as capturing contacts from registration forms, events and other venues. That’s because some people are still hesitant to provide 100 percent correct data regarding themselves, for fear of being bombarded with email offers and sales calls.

You introduce far more dirt into your well-oiled marketing machine when you purchase leads and throw them into your marketing database. This is something you should NEVER do, and you can read this post from Constant Contact to understand all the hazards of purchased leads. Suffice it to say, there is likely no better way to ‘dirty up’ your marketing database than by using purchased leads without validating them before use. So, keep them separate from your validated leads, or better yet, just stay away from this approach to growing your database.

Revalidate Your Leads Consistently

If you’ve been managing your database correctly, you will have a method for knowing which contacts in your database are newest/oldest as well as hottest/coldest. Begin a data revalidation effort by verifying contacts that are the oldest and coldest, then quickly move up the value stack toward your contacts who are associated with your newest/hottest leads. With attrition rates running at 5 percent per month, you should be validating 5 percent of your database each month to keep your database at its current level of cleanliness. Validate more than that each month, and you’ll likely experience an improvement in email open rates and responses to your offers.

Get Your Hands Dirty, Not Your Database

To ensure you are revalidating at least five percent of your data monthly, you need to get down into the trenches. Reach out to your contacts to see who still fits your target persona and that their information is accurate in your database. While you’re at it, create a way to capture additional data about each contact so that you can slice your data in different ways for different marketing campaigns.

If you have never revalidated data or struggle to devise a creative approach to doing it effectively, consider using the services of a strategic lead generation agency. They can guide you through the process, and of course, they would be happy to do it for you. Not only can they help you frame your multi-program approach, a quality agency will validate purchased leads faster and more effectively purely from applying techniques based on past failures/successes. 

Conclusion: A Database-Centric View to Marketing is Healthy   

Marketers recognize that having lots of data about their target audience is key to winning customers today. If you know these valuable people better than your competition does, then you can offer the right solution, in the right context, at the right time. So, by all means, work toward futuristic methods that incorporate AI, big data, machine learning, and more. Yet, hone the most strategic asset in your current toolkit – the marketing database.