According to Frost & Sullivan the Marketing Automation Platforms such as Eloqua will expand by a huge 300 percent from 2014 to 2020. Many of the companies that will jump on the Marketing Automation bandwagon will be disappointed with their results.
Why? Many of these marketing automation adoptees will just expect these platforms to work regardless of the effort put into fine tuning them. These are complex platforms that require knowledgeable marketers, processes, and of course, good data. The latter, especially, can be the make or break factor when it comes to your marketing automation efforts.
Marketing automation platforms simply handle the data you feed into them. Typically this data can come from many different sources, including integrations, mass imports, manual entry, forms, and other third party sources. Much of this data can be unreliable, and in general, even good data can degrade over time. So, the longer you let this data accumulate unchecked, the more likely the problems created will start to snowball. To make sure you are getting the most out of your data, read through these recommended white papers: “Put a full-court press on dirty data” and “Why Dirty Data is Costing you a Ton of Money”.
Fuel Quality Matters
Think of it this way. If a car has no gas, it is not going to run. Period. If you put bad gas into a car, it might run for a while, but then, as you are halfway to Ikea with your significant other, it stalls. You pump the gas pedal, turn the key, and it starts again only to stall out a few more miles down the road. It becomes very unpredictable, like your relationship is starting to become…as if Ikea alone isn’t stressful enough on a happy couple.
On the other hand, a car with good gas will be reliable and get you from point A to B with no problems. You also have tools, such as a fuel gauge to monitor your progress and alert you when it’s time to refill. In modern cars, there are countless other tools at your disposal, and they are all dependent on the fuel that keeps your car running.
This is the same as with your marketing automation software. Feeding it bad data will cause it to become unpredictable, and it won’t do the job you expect it to do. But, like a car with clean fuel, if you have good data filling your marketing automation platform, you will be able to track campaign performance, segment and score leads, attribute ROI to the right channels, set goals, and be able to report on all of it. In other words, it will run like a fine-tuned machine.
Take Preventative Measures
To continue with the car analogy – if you don’t get preventative maintenance done (oil changes, tune ups, etc.) it can lead to bigger more costly problems down the road. The same goes for the data in your marketing automation machine. If you don’t put measures into place now, you are risking a much more difficult and costly problem to fix down the road. Here are some examples of the measures you can put into place:
- Identifying Dirty Data and Performing a One-Time Cleanse
- Create a Data Dictionary
- Appoint a Data Steward
- Create Data Collection Controls
- Implement an Eloqua Data Washing Machine
- Purge Old or Bad Data
Dirty data will almost inevitably get caught up in your marketing automation machine. Cleaning it should be seen as a cost of doing business, and it should be budgeted for. It is still your choice as to whether you will take the long-term precautions that are needed and get the data cleansing tools and services necessary to keep it clean, but dirty data can seriously hinder your marketing efforts. Cleaning it should not be seen as optional.
How clean is your data? Need some best practices and ideas on what to look for? Get additional insight on this topic through: “Put a full-court press on dirty data” and “Why Dirty Data is Costing you a Ton of Money”.
If you want to take a closer look under the hood of your marketing automation machine, but are not quite sure where to start, we can help you out! Give us a call at 1-888-ELOQUA4 (888-356-7824) or email info@4ThoughtMarketing.com.