Scrubbing Data

Deliver Magazine reported that despite the ROI potential from data hygiene, many companies still haven’t cleaned up their lists.

Data management is still a hot topic for many companies these days. Marketers too often focus on how best to use the data rather than spending enough time wondering whether the data itself is clean. Good data hygiene can have a significant impact on your company’s ROI, minimizing waste and building trust with consumers by contacting them at the correct address.

Rod Ford, founder and chief executive officer of CognitiveDATA, a data-quality management company discusses a few of the misconceptions about data hygiene with Deliver.

Deliver: Why aren’t companies today putting enough resources into data quality?

Ford: Data hygiene is typically grossly under-budgeted. Many direct marketers spend less than 1 percent of their overall direct marketing budget on data quality.

Deliver: Why do companies say that they value data quality but not fund it properly?

Ford: Many organizations live under the misconception that their data is already highly accurate. This is because they are passing this data through vintage tools a few times a year and not finding incorrect addresses or other problems with the data.

Deliver: What should marketers be doing to improve data quality?

Ford: Several issues are forcing marketers to be more efficient in their mailings. The green movement and the push toward less waste in the mail stream is one. Then there’s the fact that response rates have declined because, during the recession, the consumer has less discretionary income than in the past. Finally, direct mailers are facing rising costs in almost every area of mail production. These issues already were forcing marketers to take a closer look at data hygiene before the recession hit. What the macroeconomic environment has done is accelerate the adoption of data-hygiene technology.

Deliver: Do you think that marketers will go back to ignoring data hygiene once the economy recovers?

Ford: Right now, direct mailers are learning important lessons about the impact of more accurate data. When you reduce the number of undeliverable pieces of mail in a campaign, this increases the overall response rate, for example. These lessons will transcend whatever is happening in the economy.


  1. umm that’s an interesting way to look at it… thanx for the post 🙂

  2. my sister saved your site for me to come back to. Have got to say you have some awesome stuff here. will make sure that I come back to see more

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