Behind Every High Growth Company, There is Good Data Management

Jacqueline Davis

Why do high-growth companies tend to have a better grasp on modern business trends, or quickly adopt the latest sales strategies, or even take the risks to leverage innovative marketing?  There are some common trends among them; one significantly important trend is data management.

Having data management at the forefront of their business strategy is central to gaining a competitive advantage in the market place.  Lack of coherence within your data effects several areas of your business.  In a recent study, the DMA (Data Marketing Association) has identified the key impacts that bad data can have on a business; with the most notable being lost sales opportunities.

In the study, participants stated that if they had better account quality and contact data, they could grow faster!  I suppose this is why we are finally seeing data-driven marketing adoption at the CMO level.  In fact, 50% of CMO’s have found a clear and positive difference in using data to improve their understanding of the customer.  We now understand where and how to leverage the information to improve marketing efforts which ultimately drive revenue.

Of course, the size of your organization plays a huge role in the impact you can have and how quickly.  High-growth companies are leveraging data management not only because they easily can but because they are also typically more agile than their slower growing counterparts.

So how are these high-growth companies looking at their data and building a scalable strategy to drive success?

A thorough data management process embodies 4 primary components that enable’s your company to scale and optimize your data in a direction most meaningful for your business.

Strategic Data Alignment Audit:  It’s important to audit and understand what you have, what is quality, where it came from and if the current data is bringing value.  A strategic data alignment audit can help you level set your data strategy to bring enforcement and process to the table.   It is important to recognize that this is not a “one and done” exercise.  This is an exercise that needs to be complicated frequently in order to keep on top of data erosion, inconsistent processes, and data effectiveness.

Alignment:  Continuing from the strategic data alignment audit, you need to align to the correct and relevant data that will help drive your business growth.  At this stage, you want to remove invalid and irrelevant data, standardize on formatting, and normalize the data sets so they can be reported on moving forward.  Not only are you standardizing on your data formats but you are also bringing all data sources together in 1 place to manage and report on.

Enhancement:  Here is where you start to fill in the gaps that have been identified.  You will address data erosion challenges.  Studies show that marketing data erodes at a rate of 25% – 70% a year!  Not only is it eroding at an uncontrollable rate but data points such as decision making roles within the organization or movement within or outside an organization are difficult to track and identify.  Call verification, online research and strong alignment to sales are what give you a foot hold on this type of pertinent data.

Preservation:  This is probably the most important element of data management.  Setting the bar and holding contributors accountable for the quality of data being delivered is imperative.  You want to standardize your forms, always ensure you are tracking first or last touch (whichever you think is most relevant), and guard your data from erroneous lists.  Setting up processes and systems allows you to better control data quality.  Don’t forget what I said about the importance of having a strong alignment to sales.  Your relationship to sales enables you to stay on top of account/contact focus as it aligns to the overall strategy of the businesses.

How do you start on the data management journey?

The best thing you can do for your data is complete a data discovery exercise.  This will provide the needed value points required to proceed with a full-on data management strategy.  With the right vendor, they will guide you through the process and help align your strategy so it is effectively leveraged across all divisions, regions, and growth areas of business.

Completing a data discovery exercise leads to identifying the budget you need to management data ongoing, educates relevant decision makers who otherwise wouldn’t give it 2 thoughts, and preserve the relationship with sales (marketing having data knowledge enhances their value proposition to sales).

Finally, I will leave you with 1 final compelling thought… lack of internal manual resources accounts for 30% of marketing data erosion.  This should not be happening.  If you don’t have the manpower internally, leverage an agency to assist.  Data Reef is an expert in this space and can share case study examples, research, or simply have a chat about your data challenges.

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