Data Integrity: A Marketer’s Opportunity Today

When data integrity is done right, modern marketers will see efficiency, revenue growth and positive brand impact in 2019.

Everywhere I go, the topic du jour is data discipline, and the outlook on it is somewhat somber. At LiveRamp’s RampUp, Outsell, and AdExchanger’s Industry Preview conferences, to name a few, marketers were lamenting the crisis of confidence in data and how they must be more conservative in their approach to sourcing, aggregating and using information while staying on the right side of COPPA and GDPR.

In a year when the economy is doing well and ad spending is up, this downbeat tone felt somewhat ironic. Perhaps marketers are thinking about data discipline in the wrong light.

What Happens When Data Integrity Is Well-Managed?

In my view, ensuring data provenance, integrity and privacy and the like is not a setback; it’s an opportunity for marketers. It’s not about treading more lightly with data; it’s about aggressively making data discipline a core part of their marketing and business strategy. When data integrity is done right, marketers will see efficiency, revenue growth and positive brand impact.

Look no further than one famous tech company that recently announced a change in their business strategy towards adding a “privacy-focused” messaging platform, with an aim to evolve the nature of their relationship with their users (and data). Facebook is the current poster child for pivoting its business to align with its consumers. While the benefits of their decision remain to be seen, no one can chide Facebook for taking an aggressive, upbeat, stance on the virtues of privacy.

While Facebook and others will, no doubt, continue to collect and apply its customers’ data to drive growth, the basic fact that Facebook is talking about data privacy for the future of its business speaks volumes to a CMO’s rationale for advocating for more a powerful data integrity stance.

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And here are a few more reasons:

Customers Need to Hear It from You

Consumers—not just regulators—are in the drivers’ seat, increasingly leading the conversation around data quality. Consumers are telling brands they need to feel more comfortable about how their data is used. They expect trustworthiness, discipline and honesty as bona fide benefits of doing business with them. Transparency must be part of the customer’s experience and also gives marketers a good and healthy reason to engage them.

Each Investment Lifts All Boats

Apple and Facebook’s pivot towards data privacy provides incentive for everyone else to raise their game on data ethics. The trend towards protecting the consumer, great for reputations and marketing budgets alike, is prompting the focus on privacy by design. The players who don’t build this concept into their marketing models will become extinct.

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Better Data Means Better Insights

When data discipline is seen as a reproach, it can seem like consumers and businesses are at odds.

In truth, customers and marketers have a shared agenda and are not at odds at all. We all want the same thing—relevant, accurate, well-managed data, used appropriately. Better data means better insights, which means more effective marketing and communication across touchpoints. Good data creates a recipe to get to conversion with your optimal customer.

We’ve seen a banking client increase conversions by 21% by using household wealth estimates in their prospecting. It significantly improved their ability to connect with ideal customers with a need for their services.

Good data is key to making segmentation and prediction modeling successful.

Marketers Gain Confidence and Dollars

This year, the argument for acquiring clean data with your budget—even if it comes at a higher upfront cost—may be at its most powerful yet. According to research we conducted with Forrester Consulting, leading marketers see, on average, $73 million in additional revenue and earn approximately $4 for every dollar they spend on their investment in maturing their data management, activations and marketing measurement.

Having confidence in the integrity of your data, data management and activations, and the metrics that prove it out, is the best way to keep hold of the precious marketing dollars your CFOs and CEOs will otherwise be targeting.

Let’s flip the discussion on its head. Data integrity is an opportunity for businesses and consumers alike to benefit, financially and beyond.

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