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Data Integrity and Your CRM

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems have quickly established themselves as one of the most commonly implemented digital tools across industry sectors. With a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of around 14%, the CRM market has grown from $13B in 2010 to a conservative estimate of $48B in 2020.

As explained clearly in Finance Magnates (June, 2020): “The centralization of customer data is perhaps its most important job, with CRMs able to access all relevant information to help procure new clients and kindle new relationships. These solutions are ideal for saving and cataloguing information on the cloud, ensuring it is never misplaced or simply lost.”

But what is too often overlooked during initial CRM deployment is the question of how to manage data integrity, which includes but is by no means limited to corrupted data, bad or under-optimized analytics and duplicate entries to significant format issues that increase operational and reputational risks. The most common areas of concern when considering data integrity issues are:

  • Data accuracy, which studies have shown are a key organizational driver of trust in a CRM. Simply, the less accurate users perceive data to be, the less they trust and engage with the CRM.
  • Data completeness is a chronic issue familiar to many experienced CRM users. Undermining organizational adoption of your CRM, incomplete data can prove a costly burden when a CRM is tied to automated mailings, for instance. Contact data integrity plays a key and central role in providing useful metrics of any email campaign performance, most notably bounce rate (BR), open rate (OR), click-through rate (CTR), action completions (conversions, signups, survey completions), spam/abuse reporting, and unsubscribe rates.
  • Data uniformity ensures that a data type is presented similarly across a CRM, most commonly in such key fields as email addresses, phone numbers, and name formats. Uniform data enhances usability, reduces risk, and optimizes return on investment (ROI).
    Data uniqueness reduces the cost and risk associated with duplicate data clogging your CRM.
  • Data timeliness ensures that your CRM data is current and actionable.
  • Data security is of paramount importance in today’s global market. Ensuring that only the people who need access to data get access to data is an assumption of clients and considered one of the most daunting business risks to manage.

What is abundantly clear from these six drivers of data integrity is that CRM leaders are experiencing a high demand for more efficient solutions to the common problems arising due to advancements in technology and the growing influence on social media marketing. For leaders in data integrity like Transformania, optimizing data integrity focuses specifically on three processes: cleansing, formatting, and enriching.

Broadly speaking, data cleansing is a process by which corrupt or inaccurate data is detected or removed from your CRM. A typical cleansing process looks to consolidate data and to remove redundancies and duplicates. Transformania’s Cleanse features do all of this and more, identifying and flagging such common bad data as:

  • misspelled names of people and streets
  • phony or decoy contacts
  • corrupted data
  • bad email and postal addresses.

Correcting these key data fields as soon as they are discovered prevents you from sending messages to undeliverable and illegitimate contacts, a practice that can get your domain flagged as a spammer and your account cancelled by your Email Service Provider (ESP).

Too often built into the cleansing process, formatting of data ensures that inconsistent capitalization or abbreviations (St. or Street, for instance) are flagged in order to avoid spam reports. A robust program like Transformania takes formatting to the next level, automatically correcting (not just flagging) not only issues with capitalization and abbreviation but also the most frequently reported syntax and punctuation errors/patterns that will put your direct mailing campaign at risk.

In simple terms, data enrichment (also known as data appending) is a process that refines your CRM’s data by adding or integrating information that allows your system to build a richer, deeper profile of existing and potential customers. Given that customer experience (CX) and customer loyalty is driven significantly by your ability to personalize every interaction regardless of channel (email, social media, in-person), the benefits of having as much information as possible available at your fingertips are clear. Transformania’s robust set of Enrich features allows you to add such enriched markers to your contacts as:

  • geocoding
  • ZIP+4 to ensure the most accurate mailing possible in the United States
  • Congressional district
  • missing/incorrect telephone area and country codes.

More exciting still, Transformania’s unique, patent-pending DearMe™; personalization features create formal and casual salutations based on email addresses, embedded nicknames, gender, and professional/military degrees. Such personalization masks any appearance of spam, boosts campaign performance, and mitigates risk of blacklisting.