4 tips to spring clean your data

The spring cleaning phenomenon may be well under way in your home and it’s a concept that shouldn’t be overlooked by marketers.  The yearly undertaking should be viewed as an opportunity to evaluate strategies and programs to determine what needs to be cleaned up (or out) for the second half of the year.  As marketers become much more data-driven, it’s important to evaluate both the quality and quantity of your data. Here are four data spring cleaning tips to consider:

  • Hygiene: Scheduling routine hygiene cycles for your data file is essential for maintaining data quality. Your full file should go through the hygiene process.  Often times, marketers only hygiene their active mail file --- consider your entire file.  With data-driven actions and the increased desire for personalization from your customers, you want to make sure that you have the right information on file and know which customers have moved away or moved on from your brand. Missing these simple updates can have you targeting the wrong people and turning them away from your offer and future communications.
  • Reverse Append Processing: Email addresses are key to data insights. Don’t discount ‘your email address only’ file.  Leverage email addresses for reverse appends to learn the full name and postal address of the customers you’re trying to reach.  At Epsilon we can take this a step further to add several demographic characteristics to these consumer profiles so you can get a better understanding of who they are. .

In addition, many of these email only records will be existing customers that you have a postal address on but you just can’t make that connection. Linking their email activity to their postal provides additional information on their engagement with your brand.  Knowing what they are opening and clicking through gives you additional insights to what they are expecting  from you so leverage  that, along with their previous spend, to make your offers more targeted.

  • Determine what’s meaningful: Don’t get caught up in ‘constant segmentation.’ Understand the differences between your active and inactive customers.  Your mindset must shift from segmentation to audiences. It is no longer your recently acquired customer (0-3 months ago), that’s purchased two times and has spent $50+ on each purchase. It’s now about your audience that fits the profile of a Quiet Home Body’ vs Zone of Contentment profile. Going from segments to audiences can be a challenging migration so start by having these audiences overlay your segments, which will allow you to see the dominant audiences that you should focus on first.
  • Spring on the unexpected: Data is power, whether it’s about digital or offline interactions. By cleaning up your data files you will gain a clearer picture about your customers.  Leverage your data insights to identify and create opportunities that surprise and delight your customers offline and online.

At the end of each season (or quarter), it’s important to stop and evaluate what’s working and what’s not and continually engage customers.  For example, I recently purchased a Gear ball, a version of a Rubik Cube for my ten-year old son from Two weeks following this purchase, he received a free one in the mail. The significance of the timing? It’s been documented that two weeks is the average length of time ‘a cuber’ spends solving and resolving a cube.  With hundreds of cubes available for sale, Vat19’s brand’s strategy of shipping a complimentary cube will increase my son’s engagement and likely lead to many additional sales of Rubik’s Cubes from in my household.

Data tells a story and one that you need to keep front and center. Cleaning up your data files will allow you to see things more clearly, gain a better customer view and more effectively reach your customers.