Over the last half-decade, perhaps the greatest challenge that companies have faced in their external efforts has been that of cross-channel marketing. Simply put, there are more ways of getting the word out there than ever before. Businesses can focus on direct marketing in person, over the phone or via email, or they can rely on inbound strategies like driving up traffic through mobile or social campaigns.
This can get tricky for a lot of reasons. One obvious one is the simple resourcing element - the more marketing platforms you use, the more time and money it takes to manage them all. But what's equally daunting is the difficulty that cross-channel campaigns pose in terms of data quality.
Each platform you use will collect information from customers in different ways. A social campaign might only gather people's Twitter handles, while a phone-centric effort might only use their home, work or cell numbers. As companies attempt to paint the complete picture of who their customers are and what they're all about, it can get difficult.
Data enhancement is therefore a vital part of the overall information management process. It's important because it can help companies fill in the cracks. One small detail might be the difference between understanding a customer and getting confused. According to TechTarget, knowing people through data is important. Justin Honaman, former vice president of national retail sales at Coca-Cola, says that inaccurate data can scare people off.
"There's definitely an alienation component," Honaman told the news source. "I could not tell you the number of times we would get replies where people were irate: 'I'm not so and so. You sent this to me but that's my ex-husband's email address.'"
By enriching their data, companies can steer clear of these problems. Quality, timeliness and completeness should all be primary areas of focus.