With the growing important of technology, big data, and the implications for the Internet of Things, keeping your company’s data up to date is more important than ever. Bad data compromises many different aspects of your business including marketing, sales, and business development – three key areas of growth. If your business deals in B2B, there is a greater chance that a large portion of your data is compromised because corporate turnover rates can reach up to 40% each year and with it, emails and phone numbers change. Data churn is a reality for every type of business, but cultivating the best data possible is going to become more important as more companies become reliable on data.
The Internet of Things and Big Data
These may sound like to buzz words or catch phrases, but get used to them. They are both going to be vital to the future of all businesses, not just internet businesses. If you are not familiar with The Internet of Things, also known as IoT, it is the growing network of everyday objects that are coming online as they are becoming internet enabled. The Internet of Things will impact every industry and big data will grow as part of it. As everyday objects become digitized, they will begin to collect data from users, shoppers, drivers, etc. The implications are limitless. Smart shelving will be able to let inventory managers know when to restock and when to reorder merchandise. Smart pills will relay medical information back to doctors including whether or not patients took pills and if they had a fever when they did. Smart products will tell brands where consumers took them plus when and how they were used. The data that will be created by all of the new smart objects in the world will need even more managing than the databases that are considered “big data” now.
Correct Data, Personalization, and Driving the Customer Experience
Another implication of the benefits of maintaining good data about your customers is what you can do with it in terms of personalization and segmentation. Consumers are now learning to expect personalization and customization as part of their experience with their company. If you aren’t delivering that type of elevated experience, they are likely to turn to other companies that are. Utilizing the data you collect properly can also be used to this effect to help improve the customer experience and your company’s customer service efforts.
Protecting and Cultivating Your Data
Companies need to start implementing ways to protect and cultivate data now to stay ahead of the curve and maintain a healthy database as the need grows and blossoms in the future. Here are a few ways to maintain a healthy database and prepare for the growth of big data.
- Ask all contacts for multiple pieces of contact information. Since corporate turnover rates are so high, ask for a personal email address in addition to a business one. Maintain phone numbers and other pieces of data such as social contacts like establishing a LinkedIn connection.
- Give something in exchange for the extra data you are asking for. Make your content something that your customers need and want. If content isn’t an option for your type of business, give something in exchange for their contact information like a coupon for their next purchase or entry into a contest or drawing.
- Contact your list often. Ideally, contacts should be reached out to once a month. Of course, this may be different for your company, but the more often you keep in contact with your connections, the less chance there is of a contact or lead going cold.
- Remove bad email addresses and other bad contact information from your database. No need to continue spending money emailing or calling contacts that aren’t valid. If you use an email service provider, they should automatically remove bad addresses. When you receive a report of bad contacts, look through to see if you can re-establish a new connection.
- Tap companies that offer services to protect, verify, and maintain your data. There are many different companies that each performs slightly different services. ZoomInfo provides statistics, Isentia provides social media cross referencing, and Stack Overflow validates data as you input it.
Once you understand the importance of big data, you might take heed to the tips we have listed here. Your company’s data is likely very important now, but that importance will only continue to grow as the level of information grows. The implications of the Internet of Things here is almost unfathomable. What was once the fantasy of sci-fi movies is now becoming a reality and your company can benefit from properly maintaining and managing your contact data.