As marketers, we automatically gravitate towards what we want to communicate. After all, communication makes up a great portion of our job description. We often times forget (or choose to ignore) the vast need for clean, detailed data of your target audience. Who you want to reach, dictates your message… not the other way around.
We all know it, and can repeat how important data is. But who is actually sincerely happy with their team’s effort to match data and messaging? According to a 2015 Digital Marketer survey of 1,000 diverse marketers, 80% use data to drive personalized communications, BUT one-third feel they are not using it to the best of their ability. They cite a shortage of internal resources, personalization technology and accurate data.
How can we expect to get the most out of our marketing dollars if the communications are doomed from the start? Data and communications will never reach 100% accuracy, but one cannot survive without the other. More than likely, depending on your target audience and state of your data (or lack thereof), you will need to implore several solutions to get the most return on your data.
- An internal data management system
Depending on your resources and amount of pre-existing data you may be able to invest in a system to internally house your data. Robust systems may also clean, sort and complete other tasks in preparation for use.
- An external data management company
If you do not have the internal know-how or availability to manage your own data: outsource. Companies can provide you a whole suite of services tied to your data, and can be more cost-effective than internal changes.
- A big data company
Maybe you are starting from scratch and have no means to develop your own list of targeted audiences, then working with a list company is a fantastic option. By providing them criteria, they will create you a highly-targeted, customized list of viable customers.
The bottom line is without a strategy for utilizing segmented, targeted data, any marketing communications will not be successful. “Spray and pray” is not a valid method and provides very little return on your investment.
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