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on May 07, 2019

Why Data Cleanup and Organization are Vital to Greater Marketing ROI

Why Data Cleanup and Org

Because today’s modern marketing has to work across several different platforms in an omnichannel strategy, the success of any campaign or branding initiative is reliant on proper management and data reporting.

However, the reality of translating that need into actual marketing campaigns often falls short. The need for an organized data ecosystem prevails across many organizations. Proper data organization and reporting through data cleansing needs to become a priority, as it can help marketing departments translate a need for better data into actionable metrics that offer a glimpse into campaign success or failure.

The Modern Data Ecosystem

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by data when there is so much being fed to you on an ongoing basis. What’s more, many marketers believe that they have the correct data, but the metrics that would actually move the needle on impactful marketing decisions are lost in the pages and pages of Excel spreadsheets or PDF reports. As a result, many data reports go unread and unutilized each month or reporting period because they are simply overwhelming to analyze.

The modern data ecosystem requires clear, concise, and accessible data that is easy to understand and is coming from multiple online and offline channels. In the past, these channels have likely been siloed or extremely unorganized, not making them useful to anyone. Organizing data for better, more centralized analysis and measurement becomes a useful and actionable component of any marketing strategy and plan.

The Importance of Organized Data Ecosystems

For your clients or executive team, expectations rely solely on your ability to properly measure and analyze all the campaigns and platforms you are actively running. Otherwise, what is the point of spending time, money, and resources on a campaign strategy when no one truly knows if it is a success or failure?

No matter who your or your client's’ target audience represents, omnichannel marketing relies on unified marketing measurement, which is the approach of combining different insights into one measurement to determine a campaign’s success. This not only provides a bird’s-eye view of the health of a campaign, but it also automates the analysis of dozens of different metrics and factors to provide a singular view of data analytics.

Having a central touchpoint of data can decrease the confusion and overwhelm that is often felt from combining multiple data reports from several different platforms and attempting to make sense of them all individually. Separately, they may yield little information. But together, these omnichannel data points can help marketers make key decisions as their campaigns progress.

It is simply not enough to have separate reporting about different channels. This siloed reporting may lead to attribution mistakes, which can often discount channels that are actually performing well or bringing in more revenue than previously thought. A marketer’s decisions are only as good as the data they are receiving.

Without the ability to access data across the customer journey and view it holistically, marketing at the person level is significantly hindered. Some of the attribution errors that come from siloed data include improper first or last touch attribution, data bias, and missing leading indicators, which identify and predict upcoming sales trends. By accurately predicting sales, marketers can properly optimize a live campaign to help it perform even better. By identifying and fixing data misattribution and other reporting errors, marketers are able to make better decisions from more accurate reporting.

Cleanup and Organization Across a Brand’s Data Storage

Whether you know your organization's data errors or not, doing regular data cleaning (e.g., every quarter or at a cadence that works best with your data types) will make a major difference in the quality of your data and the results from it.

In order to best identify errors and clean up data, follow these steps:

Identify gaps in data/siloed data environments:

Are you fully making use of all the data available to you? What areas of a marketing campaign are not being measured? Where are existing reporting platforms falling short? These questions can help you identify gaps in your data environment to determine if the data you have is really the data you need.

Prioritize marketing data:

Some metrics are more important than others, either at a company level or at a campaign level. For instance, specific metrics about a seasonal marketing campaign (say, the sales generated from a promo code given solely at a trade show) are likely going to be a higher priority than branding initiatives that are constantly running, at least for a short amount of time. Think about what data is always important, and combine that with data that is seasonally or occasionally key for your current reporting period. Make sure it’s highlighted accordingly so everyone knows what takes the most focus.

Develop a cadence:

After data needs are identified, begin organizing the data into a proper routine of collection, entry, and management. When should this data be pulled and reported to the team? Who is responsible for its collection, analysis, and results? What actions are going to be taken depending on what information the data is telling the team?

Maintain data organization with a modern analytics platform:

Spending hours each reporting period on manually compiling and analyzing data points likely isn’t the best way to spend anyone’s time. Find a modern analytics platform that can give you a unified marketing measurement for your omnichannel efforts. With a centralized measurement of how your campaigns are doing, analysis and decision-making become remarkably easier.

In Conclusion

High-quality, “clean” data that is free from attribution or modeling errors is the only way a marketing team can accurately make decisions about their campaigns. When you feel confident about what you’re seeing, it’s easier to optimize campaigns, determine successes or areas of improvement, and plan for future months, quarters, and years. With better data comes more accurate reporting and ROI measurement, which is the only way to get a true understanding of marketing performance.

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