Tim Stevens
Friday, May 1, 2020

How can poor data affect campaign results?

The Consequences Of Poor Quality Data

We’ve stressed elsewhere the importance of clean data. Here, we look at the negative impact poor data can have on the results of a marketing campaign.

Poor data has many forms, from inaccurate telephone numbers to incorrect addresses (electronic and actual), wrong job titles and misspellings. Clearly, it’s not helped by the sheer pace of change in today’s workplace. In any one day, dozens of people will leave and join businesses, companies will open whilst others close or change their names and address.

At the moment, as lockdown continues due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the speed of change is quicker than usual, with staff cutting hours, or being furloughed under the government’s Job Retention Scheme. Ultimately, some whose roles are on hold may not return to their old jobs.

Most customer data is collected via websites, but fewer than half of organisations validate this information at the point of entry online, while nearly a fifth (19%) use no validation at all.

But the most beautifully crafted marketing campaign is meaningless if it doesn’t reach its target audience. According to ‘Beta News’, you could miss up to 50% of your contacts if your data quality is poor, or if there is duplication.

But that’s not all. Essentially, poor data will adversely affect your organisation in three ways:

1. You lose money

One survey from the Royal Mail puts the figure at 6% of yearly income being lost through poor-quality data. Yet in its study of 300 firms, 70% admitted having incomplete or outdated customer information. (This was a rise on the previous time the study was completed five years ago.)

The Royal Mail research also found that more than a third (34%) of marketers had failed to understand the financial impact of poor-quality data.

2. It’s a waste of time

You don’t just put funds into a campaign, you also invest time, which, of course is money, and it’s wasted if it could have been spent more usefully on other things. Your teams spend hours creating campaigns, which will be rendered ineffective by poor data.

Equally, sales teams will waste time chasing leads that will never materialise. One figure has it, for example, that ‘cold’ leads need up to nine different contacts before the prospect will engage with you. These communications could take place over six months or longer, meaning data not only needs to be accurate, it has to be accurate over time.

According to the ‘MarketingProfs’ website, sales departments can lose up to 550 hours a year for each sales rep using poor-quality information. Put another way, in a five-strong sales team, money lost over 12 months could buy a couple of Porsches – or 150 Disney World trips!

3. Low morale

When campaigns consistently don’t perform as well as hoped, marketing and sales teams inevitably experience a dip in morale. Confidence and motivation drop, and this ultimately affects profits.

So, no organisation can afford to ignore data quality. And newer or less experienced team members may be especially susceptible to not understanding the impact of inaccurate data.

Finally, while your business haemorrhages funds on ineffective sales calls or marketing campaigns, your competitors are closing deals and reaching their target audience.

Here to help

At i-4business, we only supply data we’ve researched ourselves, so we can vouch for its 100% accuracy and ‘cleanliness’. We could clean up your data as part of our initial free data audit. To book your free data trial and audit, please get in touch with one of the i-4business team today.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in November 2019 but has been updated to better reflect the changed B2B market as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic.