Database: Get the Dupes Out
Once patterns of error are identified, the records can be referenced to external data sources, such as a separate transactional database, to correct the errors and uncover the true identity of the customer. Comparing your data to an external data source provides transactional evidence and validates that a person exists at an address at a specific point in time (see an examplle, in the mediaplayer to the right, of a typical duplicates situation and the resulting consolidation).
Until recently, advanced de-duping tools were out of reach financially for the average marketer.
Fortunately, as the adoption of newer approaches increase, it is bringing the cost of these solutions within the realm of possibility for many marketers. Plus, more marketers have realized success in their multichannel programs, and this is driving overall interest in technological solutions that can bring about cost savings. Improvements in technology have, historically, been embraced by direct marketers, who realize that, by decreasing the number of undeliverables, the technology will help pay for itself.
Ideally, marketers should turn to tools that can readily integrate with their existing processes and can perform the following functions:
- Repair and perfect incomplete addresses.
- Accurately identify undeliverable addresses.
- Locate movers who were not found using NCOA-Link alone.
It is only a matter of time before automated "Data 2.0" solutions are widely adopted in the marketplace. After all, the results are significant. You will reduce your mail costs, and you will truly have the correct, consolidated identity and location of every customer for all of your direct marketing campaigns. You will then be able to determine each customer's individual value to your company. Plus, you will help increase customer loyalty and boost your image, because you will no longer be sending irrelevant or duplicate mailings to your top customers.