Data Hygiene

You clean yourself, your clothes and the place you live. But, unhealthy database habits in the workplace can be a real dirty shame. How clean is the knowledge of your customer? If you can’t answer that question, then it’s time to brush and floss your data.

I have come into many professional situations where data has been collected. The #epicfail has occurred because it isn’t structured, segmented and scrubbed for the various ways you can and should use it.

The first thing to address is the how and why of collection. Reviewing the flow of your customer experience will show you ways to interact smoothly, and with little interruption, to your customer. If it’s a retail situation and you have a POS system, you should be able to add some basic data questions to the checkout process.

Next, make sure you know how customers want their info. I was with a company that had done little to collect e-mails. It wasn’t that long ago that this company shouldn’t at least have those. Of course, with smart phone use growing and data plans de-emphasizing voice with smaller minute bundles, it’s worth looking at SMS text marketing.

Also, build your social media presence. It’s not news that Facebook is big. I know people who are reachable more often through their social profile. Promote your social presence, ask for the follow/like/friend connection and then add that segment to the data. As Tom Hanks’ Woody says in Toy Story, “If you don’t have a buddy, get one.”

Finally, spend time reviewing the data format you want to use. Make sure it has flexibility and is easy for you, or your data specialist, to use. Yes, Access and Excel are available, but there are also online tools which are covered in an article by Sean P. Aune.

Business cards are becoming less important thanks to tools like LinkedIn which has database functionality. But, don’t let that pile of cards go begging as a prospecting tool. According to Adam Ostrow, there is a way to input card data and keep in straight.

Most importantly, realize what a clean, finely tuned database can mean when looking for an edge. For a small business, the best list you can buy is the one you already own.

MORE RESEARCH ON “RESEARCH”: Last week, I told you how to embrace research. As I worked on this week’s followup Catch Driver blog, I came across this from Laura Klein and her “Users Know” blog. It’s a great overview on making your research better. Enjoy!

Make sure to visit to learn more and connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

About catchdrivermarketing

Catch Driver provides marketing and communications services/consultation for small to medium size businesses and non-profits. The "Your Ideas...On Track" slogan means helping organizations and business owners with projects they want to do, but lack staff and time to execute themselves, and working to drive them to a successful outcome. See more at
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5 Responses to Data Hygiene

  1. This information is spot on. There have been many a customer who has no idea what is in their database or how a database even works. Data is KING, its the biggest asset you have. You are nothing without your data.

  2. Pingback: Marketing (n.); See: People | Quad Cities Marketing, PR, Branding & Event Planning – It's Marketing Post Time

  3. Pingback: Marketing and Sales-What’s Your Business’ McRib? | Quad Cities Marketing, PR, Branding & Event Planning – It's Marketing Post Time

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