As we (and many others) have said in the past, quality data is the foundation for marketing success. If your data is flawed, your conclusions about your audiences will be flawed—garbage in, garbage out. Data hygiene is crucial to crafting a marketing strategy that reflects the true wants and needs of your audience. We've covered the topic of data cleansing best practices, but there's a flip side: data enrichment.
What is data enrichment?
Data enrichment is another component of data hygiene. While data cleansing seeks to fix typos, remove fake, outdated, or inactive email addresses, data enrichment is the process of adding information to your database from publicly-available third-party sources. Essentially, you take what you already know about your contact and use publicly-available data to enhance and clarify your contact's profile.
Many data providers use an API that keeps data updated in your CRM in real-time. So instead of a one-and-done approach, data enrichment services will monitor your contacts to be sure you have the most up-to-date information on your audience.
Why would you need it? There are a few different scenarios where data enrichment can be helpful.
The first is to combat data decay. By some estimates, data decays at a rate of about 30% a year or more, depending on the industry. Your contacts get promoted or switch companies. Companies get acquired or move to new locations. Staying on top of the latest information can mean the difference between accurately targeting a contact and sending your marketing message into a void.
Another case where data enrichment can be helpful is to gain a complete contact profile from a deliberately simple web form submission. Studies have shown that with every additional field on a form, you will lose a significant percentage of contacts who are unwilling to provide that additional data.
So to keep those opt-in forms flowing, you only ask for an email address and first and last name. This will likely keep the number of form submissions high.
But from a segmentation and personalization standpoint, it's incomplete. You have your contact's name, email, and nothing else. It's tough to personalize a strategy based on just that data.
That's where data enrichment comes in. Data enrichment can fill in the blanks to provide a better overall picture of who your contacts are. It can include demographic and geographic information as well as a job title and company contact information.
Data enrichment, when appropriately done, enhances the quality of your contact data and can improve your marketing success.
1. Use only what you need. What data points will help you achieve your business goals? Figure out what you need to create an ideal profile, and focus on those data points. Ensure that the data you are collecting has a clear purpose for your marketing efforts.
Compiling unnecessary data on your contact costs more, both in acquiring and storing that extra data. It could also violate the law, especially if you're under GDPR rules.
2. Pick your enrichment strategy. There are a few different ways to approach data enrichment. While it's possible to employ techniques such as web scraping and manual lookup, these methods are ethically dubious and, in some cases, illegal.
You'd be better served outsourcing data enrichment to qualified third-party sources. You can outline what data points are best suited to complete your ideal contact profile, and choose a provider based on those data points.
Different third-party providers specialize in different types of data, so be sure to choose one that's appropriate for your goals. Also, be sure that the data syncs up correctly and that the data mapping is compatible. Most providers will give you a free trial to demonstrate the quality of their data.
Data enrichment is a necessary component of good data hygiene. When done correctly, it allows you to stay on top of the latest audience data, ensuring maximum success for your segmentation and personalization strategy.
Check out this article for more information about how Motiva AI can boost your segmentation strategy.