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Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2022-09-14

Marketing contact data has gotten a bad reputation and, truth be told, there are good reasons. Low delivery rates, high bounces, disconnected phone numbers, direct mail returned to sender. The job of a marketer is hard enough without having to fight against bad data.

My good friend John M. Coe, a veteran B2B marketing expert, has just completed a comprehensive article for us that lays out the facts about bad data and includes ways to improve accuracy. John doesn’t mince words, and as such, it’s not your average article. He approaches the subject of bad contact data from all angles, looking at the different types of contact data, how they’re sourced, benefits and challenges with each, and tips for how to remedy bad data from the start and along the way.

The article illustrates the many ways bad data can derail marketing efforts and includes practical takeaways for business leaders on how to improve their own marketing contact data and systems. Here are a few key points John shared:

Reasons Your Data is Bad

These are the four most common reasons contact data is inaccurate:

  • The data is inaccurate from the start – the initial input data on the individual is wrong
  • The data is incomplete – essential information, such as an email address, is missing
  • Data has changed – the data was accurate but there are changes to the contact such as a new position, company, location, email address, etc.
  • New data is wrong – updates or additions meant to improve data quality were inaccurate

Knowing why enables businesses to make changes that improve data quality.

Why Bad Data is a Big Deal

Not only does bad data lead to poor marketing results and lost sales, but it can also damage a business's reputation. Any efforts to personalize content will be hindered without accurate data and can result in the opposite effect—indicating you don’t know the contact at all. It can also result in a loss of credibility, not just from the perspective of the recipient, but also from the perspective of the email service provider, which puts you at risk of ending up on their blacklists No viable business wants to be blacklisted – it can put all of your email campaigns on hold.

B2B Data Decay is Worse Than You Think

The article highlights results from multiple surveys that John has conducted with B2B professionals over the years. More than 70% had one or more contact detail changes in the last 12 months, including title/job function, company, address, phone number and email address. It’s clear B2B contact data is decaying—and fast, with estimates at 3-5% per month.

Every business database should be audited and cleansed on a regular basis. To ensure more bad data isn’t mistakenly introduced through manual updates, it is better to find a third-party vendor for data cleansing.

Bad contact data is a problem all businesses must address. It can severely impact your sales and marketing efforts, resulting in lost opportunities and revenue. But there are ways to improve your data quality and keep it strong going forward – and John provides several tips.

To read the complete article, go here.

Reach out if you’re ready to learn more about OMI’s high-quality business contact data, our data cleansing services and how we guarantee 95% email validity for 30 days. 

Did you know? Over 75 million of OMI’s 80 million manager- and professional-level and above contacts are matched to the LiveRamp RampID graph, including 65 million records from our SMB and medical market databases. Contact us today to learn more about building a custom audience.

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At OMI, we believe good things happen when you share your knowledge. That's why we're proud to educate marketers at every level - in every size and type of organization - about the basics of email marketing and the contact data that powers it.

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