6 Tips for Better Data Management

By Mathew Sweezey

Data management is one of the keys of marketing automation. You’ll be bombarded with more data than ever before. Make sure to look at these data management best practices before you start with marketing automation so that you can be sure to follow the best practices for managing your data.

  • Don’t require fields. When you are creating a form or landing page, don’t require fields to be filled out. If you do require it, you will find 65 percent of your data to be false. The only field that should be required is the e-mail address.

  • Data augmentation is key. Try to use secondary data sources. This means that if you ask people for their e-mail, you can use a data vendor to give you all the other data you require. This approach keeps your database clean because you’re not requiring fields to be filled out.

  • Refresh. Your data has an expiration date — and this goes for e-mail addresses especially. Do your best to find the average tenure of your key demographic. Most marketers change jobs every 2.5–3 years, so if your demographic is marketers, it is out of date every 3 years.

  • Learn over time. Another great trick is to ask questions over time to get data points on people. This is usually called progressive profiling.

  • Behavioral data is better than demographic data. Remember that what people are doing is going to be more important than who they are. Getting this data will be easy with marketing automation.

  • Big data . . . forget it. Big data really isn’t something you should worry about. You’ll get what “dig data” truly is with the basic lead tracking from your marketing automation tool. Concern yourself with small data; you’ll find it easier to manage, and your campaigns will be more effective. Small data includes what web pages people look at, how long they stay on the site, and other actions and behaviors they exhibit.