Data management in CRM systems is playing an increasingly significant role within marketing and communications as marketing automation becomes increasingly prevalent. By having a clear process for managing your data you can protect your marketing activities against data corruption and mis-management. You’ll also be saving your brand from embarrassment.
Whether you are buying large lists of data or generating leads organically you will at some point in time have to make bulk data updates to these lists, such as updating fields; industry, job titles, email addresses etc. When you are making changes you have to be sure that a process is being followed correctly to avoid any disastrous consequences that can occur from corrupt data.
Data corruption is when something is changed in a database/data list that overwrites or changes existing data. This can be anything from a contact name being changed incorrectly which can cause issues with personalised correspondence, all the way up to data being deleted and lost. There are a lot of causes for data corruption but they can be easily avoided by following clear processes and procedures.
Multiple users accessing data in your CRM
When there are multiple users carrying out tasks that involve data you can quickly and very easily encounter data corruption issues because of poor or mis-communication. This can be easily overcome by simply outlining each persons responsibilities when dealing with the database.
You can also implement a data record sheet that is updated by the user when they have an interaction with a specific data set. A data record sheet can be a simple spreadsheet that records information such as; users names, which dataset they dealt with, what actions they took and the date. By doing this everyone has clear visibility of how the data is being managed.
Knowing what to upload/update in your CRM and how
This might sound like a very obvious point but when you are potentially dealing with more than one different CRM or database software it can be very easy to cause data corruption if you don’t know exactly how to manage your data.
All systems have different procedures for uploading/updating data so it is critical you know the protocols for your system. This is probably the area in which you will come across the most damaging data corruption.
If you are updating records in your database it is always a good idea to have a backup of all of your data as it was before you made any changes. As well as that it is always advisable that you do a test by updating a sample of your data and check for any discrepancies.
WARNING: ONLY EVER INCLUDE THE FIELDS YOU WISH TO UPDATE!
When you are updating fields in most databases you are overriding the existing data so always be wary of the fields you have included in your update file.
Don’t over complicate how you hold your data in your CRM
This is more of an organisation tip which will help you keep on top of your data and is absolutely essential if you are using marketing automation software. When I say don’t overcomplicate your data I mean try and keep all fields relevant. By this I am primarily talking about adding custom fields to data once a database is in use.
So many times I have come across duplicate fields containing contradicting information. Always check if a new field is relevant. With marketing automation, custom fields in your data are very important but it is so easy to be overrun by them when you are creating new web forms and decisions for your campaigns regularly.
The best tip for keeping track is to keep your field titles as descriptive as possible and always check before adding something new. If you don’t it could lead to confusion and corrupt data.
If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of data management best practices or marketing automation get in touch with us, we’re happy to help.