How to Justify Investment in Data Validation and Maintenance
Published: April 29, 2021 | Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn
A version of this article was first written by the writing staff of Loqate GBG and was first published on their blog.
We recently released a new feature as part of Galaxy 7.8: Galaxy Contact Validation. This service ensures the accuracy of your guests’ demographic data by auto-populating and/or validating their address, phone and email information as they enter it online or as it’s entered at your gates. With auto-complete and validation, you will improve the online user experience, enable more effective personalized marketing campaigns, see a decrease in the number of failed email and postal deliveries, and ultimately see an increase in sales. Galaxy Contact Validation is powered by GBG Loqate, so we partnered with them to find out why they recommend their customers to invest in this service, and on-going data maintenance in general.
Keeping your customer data up-to-date and accurate might be seen by some attractions and venues as an unnecessary expense rather than a favorable investment.
It takes time and money to store complete and accurate data, to protect it, to merge it, to transfer it and obtain it. What’s more, it can take considerable investment to utilize it internally and make it actionable. And of course, data costs when it is wrongly used – complaints, bad press, wasted labor hours, and under CCPA or GDPR, fines.
However, in my opinion, I see data as an asset.
The power behind accurate customer data
Attractions know that to stay ahead of the competition, they need to be data-centric. We are seeing attractions with strong data assets and CRM capabilities outperform their peers.
Attractions that have clean and accurate data benefit from consistency of the right information reaching the right guests at the intended time. Additionally, if data migrations are needed, it’s much easier moving accurate data from one system to another. Attractions can also better upsell new products or services with accurate data, and even move into new vertical segments or markets by leveraging accurate data lists to create accurate look-alike lists using digital marketing tools.
Ultimately, when it is invested in and maintained, data can drive better decision-making and performance throughout any attraction by:
- Helping you stay in contact and engage with more of your guests, promoting your brand and encouraging loyalty.
- Creating the opportunity to upsell and cross-sell additional products and services.
- Ensuring that you get the channels of communication right the first time.
- Reducing operational inefficiency such as sending deliveries to the wrong address and double-counting the same guest in your database.
- Helping you adhere to legislation and reduce fines and complaints.
How much is your data worth?
For those struggling to gain budgets and approval to validate incoming data and clean their data on a regular basis, despite the advantages listed above, one way is to calculate how much your accurate data is worth and use this value as a way of justifying investment.
Following the same logic as your car, which needs yearly service and budget allocated to its maintenance to keep it road-worthy, the same approach can be adopted for data. This can range from simple to complex calculations.
Personally, I like to keep things simple, so here are four ways the value of accurate data could be ascertained.
The focus needs to be on the concept and securing the understanding of accurate data’s worth and the need for data validation and regular data maintenance, rather than the absolute certain details of whether accurate data is worth a thousand, a hundred thousand or a million dollars.
- Find the opportunity cost of better marketing: Look at the conversion rate of your last promotion. If you sent 1000 emails, and 100 guests purchased, that’s a 10% conversion rate. Now, how many emails bounced or otherwise came back as undelivered? A common rate is about 3%. If those emails had been delivered successfully… you would have converted three more guests (10% of the 30 undelivered emails). Multiply that by the average revenue value of each guest and you have the revenue you could have made during this promotion had your data been accurate. That alone may be too small a number to justify a new expense like a data validation service (or maybe not). But imagine earning that much more revenue for every promotion you run in a year. It starts to add up.
- Find the opportunity cost of abandoned carts: Statistics vary, but one thing is certain: using a data validation service to auto-populate contact info during the online checkout process makes it quicker and more convenient. And this decreases cart abandonment rates (particularly on mobile). Let’s be conservative and say you could increase web store conversions by just 1% by auto-populating accurate data during the purchase process. Is this enough to justify the expense?
- Find cost savings on labor: How many hours a month do you spend cleaning up data, dealing with issues that arise because of bad data, or dealing with issues that arise when trying to migrate bad data to another system? Multiply those hours by your hourly or effective hourly rate. This is the amount of time and the costs you could save by having a service ensure data accuracy for you. Is this worth the investment?
- Use a combination of all three to really drive home the point.
Make data maintenance a priority
As an aside, you can also use these numbers just to highlight the number of incomplete records and lack of accuracy across some data records. When factored into annual renewal rates, another business case could be created that shows the positive return on investment from data cleaning. This could further cement having a planned and consistent approach to data maintenance.
So, to summarize, in a rapidly developing environment, accurate customer data is one of the key weapons for any firm. Companies that take the time to understand it and correct it, will enjoy significant benefits over their competitors.
If you’d like to use Galaxy Contact Validation at your attraction, reach out to your Business Solutions Manager or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org