According to a Yesmail Interactive/Gleanster survey, 67 percent of businesses rely on customer relationship management (CRM) data to segment and target customers. Yet, there are several major problems with CRM data that could be preventing marketing campaigns from reaching their full potential. Before launching a marketing campaign, it's important to keep these potential problems in mind and understand what it takes to ensure you're using the most accurate data possible to reach consumers.
The six most common problems with CRM data include:
1. Missing Key Information: CRM data often contains gaps in information. Relying on basic demographic data or purchase history is no longer sufficient. Supplement basic info with more detailed information, such as purchasing preferences or Web history. Without this type of information, it's difficult to understand how to reach customers effectively.
2. Out-of-Date Information: Customer information changes often, but the data marketers most use to reach customers doesn't always update as quickly as we'd like. Whether a consumer has moved to a new city or has changed his or her purchasing habits, campaigns will not be effective if marketers are relying on information that does not update as customers' lives change.
3. Incorrect or Unverified Data: Similarly, the data used for marketing campaigns needs to be accurate from the start. Marketers often rely on unverified data that could be incorrect. For marketing campaigns to be effective, it is crucial for marketers to reach consumers in a highly targeted way. Without verifying information, marketing efforts and resources could be wasted.
4. Lack of Insight: Even if CRM data is up-to-date and accurate, it's still just data. It provides marketers with as much information about a customer as possible, but doesn't reach conclusions. Marketers need to use this information to uncover their own insights to effectively reach consumers at the right time, through the right channel and with the right message.
5. Inability to Find New Prospects: While CRM data can be useful for reaching current customers, it does not help marketers reach new customers. It's important for marketers to effectively reach consumers who have the potential to become loyal, long-term customers.
6. Privacy Concerns: CRM databases are not responsive to the challenges of multichannel marketing in an increasingly privacy protected society. It is important for marketers to identify and contact clients and prospects according to their unique privacy requirements.
CRM data can be very useful and often leads to highly successful campaigns. But marketers need to keep these potential issues in mind before relying on this information. Overlooking these common problems leads to incomplete or inaccurate profiles of your customers and can lead companies down the wrong path.
Sal Pecoraro is vice president of marketing technology and support at Omaha, Neb.-based marketing data product and services provider Infogroup Targeting Solutions (ITS). Reach him at email@example.com.