What is ‘Data decay’ (bad data)? This term refers to the degradation in the quality of data. The importance of collecting and managing your data is undoubted. But if you only store and don’t have a routine for updating and cleaning your data, then you’re not maximising your sales success. Like most things, data needs a regular clean and polish to keep it performing at its best. 

Good data is a prerequisite for fruitful sales follow-ups and customer acquisition. Bad data brings down marketing efficiency and sales performance. Obsolete data can be one of the main reasons why many businesses end up with unsuccessful marketing campaigns (avoid common marketplace mistakes). It impacts the performance of all your marketing channels and can also affect brand reputation and direct sales.

According to the 1-10-100 rule (also called “the cost of quality” developed by George Labovitz and Yu Sang Chang), the cost of preventing bad data is $1, the cost of correcting existing problems is $10 and it costs $100 if you do nothing. The cost of failure is the result of not dealing with the problem before the customer experiences it and it’s often more significant than we realise.

40% of email users change their email address at least once every two years
15% of email users change their email address one or more times a year
20% of all postal addresses change every year
18% of all telephone numbers change every year
21% of all CEOs change every year
25-33% of email addresses become outdated every year
60% of people change job titles within their organisations each year*

Data decay is a known issue that every business goes through. The fact is – data changes rapidly and it’s even considered as the new norm. A recent report from Gartner shows that for B2B data, the decay rate is estimated to be 70.3% per year and every month around 3% of data decays around the globe. The decay affects B2B at a higher rate because economic factors, workforce mobility and demand are also changing at a higher rate.

Developing a ‘Data Hygiene’ (Data cleansing) strategy is a good way to maintain accurate data. If you’re unsure how clean your data is, it’s advisable to run a health check. There are plenty of free quality options to start with (like this Marketplace Health Check) and get a good idea of what is going on.

what bad data can do?
Increased rate of email hard bounces due to invalid or inaccurate email IDs
Increased chances of putting off customers and prospects due to irrelevant marketing content
Incomplete or inaccurate data can stop sales teams from effective follow-up communication or the ability to develop effective relationship strategies
Increased number of customers unsubscribing or opting out of email lists

Regularly running your data against correction and suppression files – periodic data audits and data cleansing on sales and marketing databases – is another effective way to keep quality high. Data verification tools are extremely beneficial when it comes to reducing errors. Applying the right software (like verification ones – address capture, email validation, or phone verification) ensures you’re capturing quality data at the point of entry. This measure saves time and money in the long run. It reduces costs by avoiding late deliveries, improves website usability and cuts down on cart or form abandonment rates.

By implementing an always-fresh approach, you possess data that’s ready to use and can react promptly to any scenario. The better your data is optimised for the marketplace and web store buying process, the more often you’ll be found, and the more often people will buy from you. At ecommotors we have gathered a team of highly trained ecommerce specialists who will build, enhance, and optimise your data. We use both automation and skilled resources to smooth out the processes and, for example, to check for data compliance with car parts finders on marketplaces.

To find out more about the automotive aftermarket, or for a no-obligation introductory discussion, please contact us.