A Word on Ethics: Don't Misuse Your Data on bdex.com

A Word on Ethics: Don’t Misuse Your Data

Data is at the center of the marketing world these days, but it should be used with caution. Here are 5 best practices for data collection and usage.

When it comes to marketing, a word that is constantly used now is “personalization.” Companies are endless trying to figure out what makes their customers tick and how they can reach them on a personal level.

At the same time, however, there’s another P-word that’s just as important: privacy. People are more aware than ever that their information is floating around the internet and at risk for getting into the wrong hands. So, how can businesses use personal information to target consumers without misusing it? Here are some data practices they need to put in place.

Be sure customers want you to have their data

While companies should look for opportunities to pleasantly surprise their customers, they need to avoid unpleasant surprises at all costs. And if someone is suddenly getting emails from a business they never gave their email address to, this definitely falls into that latter category. This is why it is always important to give people a choice to opt-in for things like emails, as well as the chance to opt-out.

Don’t pass data around

When customers allow a business to use their information, they are trusting that it will be used properly. If this business immediately turns around and lets a vendor or another organization they work with use it without consent, that trust is broken.

“If there is a breach of this trust, all the dollars that marketers spend acquiring customers dissipates,” says Sahaj Patel, co-founder of Medly Pharmacy. “In addition to the ethical arguments for respecting privacy, it just makes good business sense to do so.”

In addition to their own opt-in, companies should also give customers a choice to receive any communications from other partners.

Vet your vendors

Speaking of other partners, while a company may be doing everything right with the data it gets from its customers, it might not be able to say the same about its vendors. In many cases, it is unavoidable to give them access to at least some of the data, and if they’re not keeping it safe or are using it unethically, this will reflect poorly on the company. In addition, if their actions were to result in a data breach, the company could be held liable.

Be honest and transparent about data collection

Again, companies don’t want to do things to annoy or anger their customers, which is why they need to be open about what kind of data they are collecting and how they intend to use it. For example, businesses that use cookies to track users should let customers know that they do this as soon as they visit their website and that by using their site they are agreeing to the use of cookies. They should also be directed to the privacy policy for more information.

Be careful where you get data

A company that supplements the data it has by buying more from data companies has to be sure it’s using reputable sources. Unscrupulous data collectors are common these days, and if a company uses data it is not supposed to have, the business’s reputation will take a big hit. There is also a good chance that the data from this type of company is old, unreliable, or just flat-out worthless.

At BDEX, clients can be sure that the quality data we give them access to has been collected responsibly. To learn more about our services or policies, you can get in touch with us through our online contact form.

What Is Quality Data and Why Is It So Important? on bdex.com

What Is Quality Data and Why Is It So Important?

How important is data-quality management in marketing? If you care about effective campaigns, the answer is “very.”

Incorrect marketing data is more than annoying or inconvenient. It can cost a company money. Some may question the need for strict data-quality management when engaging in digital marketing as opposed to direct mail. After all, it doesn’t cost money to send an email to the wrong address, right?

However, this notion is misguided. Bad marketing data begets bad marketing results by diluting the effects of properly targeted campaigns and possibly magnifying the outcomes of less-effective marketing efforts. Bad data hides what’s really going on from the people who need to know it most.

Content marketing depends on data quality

The great thing about good quality marketing data is that it makes it easy to trust the measured results. If you have confidence in the data, then you can accurately judge campaign effectiveness based on the applicable metrics. Marketers can have faith in results from analytical systems and other types of reporting, and they can adjust campaigns for better targeting, a better pitch, or a more enticing offer.

Bad data is even worse when engaging in predictive analysis

World-class organizations engage in the predictive analysis as a matter of course. As one might imagine, inaccurate data in this use case is worse than “bad.” It’s catastrophic for the process. You might as well try to fly a passenger jet in a simulator training exercise to land at LAX with the coordinates for JFK. It is not going to happen.

Those highly effective personalized campaigns? They depend on high-quality data

It’s happened to everyone. Say you’re a single 37-year-old male looking up the latest box scores on MLB.com, but your vital research on the NL East standings is interrupted by ads for children’s chewable vitamins. You don’t have kids and aren’t planning to, so if that media buy was priced per impression, that wrong targeting data is now costing the advertiser real money.

Up-to-date and accurate data is crucial for digital campaigns, particularly if they’re highly personalized. Companies can’t target a consumer when their tracking information is wrong or just out of date. When one works with highly accurate data sources, one gets better targeting, and increased ROI inevitably follows.

Accurate data begins with your mailing list

We all like big numbers. It sounds much better to say, “We have a customer mailing list of over 40,000 contacts” than admitting that you only have 10,000. However, of those 40K contacts, how many are still, valid, engaged, and actively consuming your content?

Regular maintenance of a mailing list is a perfect example of what clean data can do. If emails to a list with 150K contacts yield open rates of 1.3% and a click-through of .03%, there is a problem. One’s thoughts would automatically go to “That was a bad email.”

However, if the list is 25% active contacts and 75% old and inactive emails, there is no real way to have an idea of how the email creative itself fared. The list is a prime example of bad data – bloated, stale, outdated, and ultimately misleading.

(For the record, a good average email open rate is 15%-25%, and a good average click-through rate is about 2.5%) via Campaign Monitor.)

Work with the best, most accurate marketing data available: BDEX

There is an alternative to becoming a data quality-control expert and wading through a sea of endless data points, looking for the bad apples. Trust BDEX to provide you with marketing data for almost 500 different industries that are vigilantly maintained to ensure the quality and accuracy of a required data set. Our information has undergone the most demanding data hygiene processes that validate, update, and standardize names, mailing addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers.

So, when a marketing effort targets a specific location, interest, and demographics, and that painstakingly devised piece of communication finds its way to the intended audience, members of that group will soon become customers. BDEX can make sure your aim is true, and your marketing message finds its target. It’s what makes human connectivity happen.

BDEX endows your marketing with the power and depth of human connectivity. Call 917-410-6616 or contact us to learn how marketing solutions from BDEX can help you deliver the right message to the proper audience.

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Data? on bdex.com

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Data?

Learn how to go beyond the conventional uses of data to up your targeting game and improve your overall marketing strategy

Effective marketing is driven by user data. More and more marketers are raising their investments in data to improve their overall ROI. According to a survey released by the IAB Data Center of Excellence, companies in the U.S. spent close to $19.2 billion on audience data in 2018; 69% of respondents said they had increased their spending in 2018, and 78% expect to invest even more for 2019.

Big data has changed the way marketers approach their targeting strategies, as more data is being gathered and analyzed than ever before.

It’s the perfect time to assess whether you’re using data to its fullest potential, and aren’t stuck on conventional methods that don’t provide you the personalized targeting opportunities you need.

Below are uses of third-party data that go beyond traditional and help marketers get the most out of the data they’re paying for.

Create your ideal, customized audience with ad segmentation

Are you using your data for ad segmentation? If not, you could be missing out on a major opportunity to connect with your own customized audiences.

Ad segmentation allows companies to market to different categories of an audience, or segments, that may be at different stages of the sales funnel or have different motivations. This segmenting is possible by using third-party customer data that shows what’s behind a customer’s intent and thus helps brands reach their audiences before they make a move.

Creating customized segments allows marketers to better connect on a personal level with their audience, and this just isn’t possible without data. If you have yet to use data in this way, ad segmentation is a worthy investment.

For example, MailChimp conducted a study that compared segmented campaigns with non-segmented campaigns and found that the segmented emails saw a 14.31% higher open rate and 100.95% higher click rate than their non-segmented counterparts. Customers were segmented by details like subscription signup date, subscriber activity, and interest groups – categories that depend on data.

Combining marketing and sales data

Marketers are also realizing they can use their data to find new clients and markets that may be fruitful. It’s smart to pay attention to any outside or new sources of traffic with high conversion rates, which can be found by combining both marketing data and sales data to further campaign efforts and get more accurate information.

Combining these two types of data can reveal a complete view of the consumer – not just their intentions, but also their actual buying habits. This level of insight can tell you the customer’s entire journey, from the initial view or click to how satisfied they are after a sale.

Cross-device identity matching

Data can also reveal to marketers that one customer browsed products on multiple devices, making that lead’s behaviors and motivations that much more detailed. Cross-device identity matching links devices to real people you’re trying to get your message to.

As a Gartner contributor pointed out last year, cross-device identification is a trending marketing technology that creates more “sophisticated ad targeting, personalization, and measurement capabilities” to help marketers deliver meaningful messages across channels.

Use consumer data to better target specific users across all of their devices and multiple channels, and you’ll have a more well-rounded approach that creates more meaningful real-time connections.

BDEX data brings opportunity

BDEX offers several solutions that help companies use their data to its fullest potential. We offer custom segment-building services that allow marketers to create their own custom audience to build their ideal target customer.

We also have over 800 million mobile-to-email identity linkages to help brands with their cross-device matching efforts. This means they can better market to their audience across multiple channels, whether social media, email, direct mail, or mobile.

The BDEX Data Exchange Platform (DXP) includes data from almost 500 different industries so you can purchase the data that will help you make real human connections with your ideal audience in the most effective ways.

Contact BDEX if you have questions about how to get the most out of your data or to learn about all of our data solutions that will help you push your marketing efforts and your business forward.