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Latest From Blog

Is Your Data Fit For Purpose?

Did You Know? Data Cleaning is a waste of time and money – if you fail to put in a recurring maintenance process!

As Sales and Marketing people, we all know that, given a choice, we would all elect to always work with clean sales and marketing data.

Having clean, consistent, and up-to-date data saves a lot of time and avoids expensive mistakes, such as two different salespeople approaching the same prospect or a marketing campaign that targets customers for a product that they already have…

“Don’t these guys ever speak to each other!” is the common reaction. Not a ‘good look’, is it!

Clean Data Wins

So that’s unanimous – we all vote for clean data!

And, we can have it – for a manageable investment… And it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Over the course of a year, your clean data will pay you back many times over. So, how could that be a waste of time and money?

Why should I implement a recurring process? Here’s the thing to be aware of – studies show that data decays at the alarming rate of 70% per annum!

What that means is that if you fail to put in a recurring process that will ensure your data is continually maintained, within a year you are almost back where you started…

Data can contain many surprises, much of which is hidden by the application that is hosting the very same data.

It’s not an intentional thing – it’s just the nature of applications in that they are generally single record centric and do not easily provide holistic views of your data.

Get your data out of your application and then you begin to see the full story of irregularity and duplications emerge.

Three easy steps to implement a recurring process

  1. Set up a Data Policy

To get your data fully under control you first need to form a data policy that defines how you want your data to look and how you need it to be segmented.

This policy needs to be externally mapped so that it can be applied by an automated process to all your data – both old and new. Bear in mind that “old” data doesn’t stand still. Users are continually applying updates and can easily introduce irregular or non-compliant values.

“Oh, but I have pick lists and it’s not possible to apply invalid values!”, I hear you cry. The chosen values may be “valid”, but are they sensible or consistent values? Chances are they may not be as value selection is entirely at each user’s discretion.

  1. Wash and fix your data

This step is the heavy-lifting stage. Having defined a Data Policy, you need to wash your data against your data policy and regularize any non-compliant values. This, in turn, will help to identify suspected duplicates and cases that could not be automatically fixed. These exceptions need to be manually investigated and resolved. On doing this, it is conceivably possible that some exceptions are simply false negatives. Having invested time to check these out, the knowledge of these “false negatives” needs to be retained so that it can be re-applied each time the data is washed. In this way, they won’t keep reappearing and demanding unnecessary attention.

  1. The game-changer: Repeat Step 2 – regularly!

Your “data sands” should always be shifting. In addition to the data decay rate of 70% per annum, if you are doing a good job selling and marketing, you should be polluting your data all the time. Every day, new contacts subscribe to your database, existing ones change jobs or companies, salespeople add new contacts or update existing ones with new details. The rate of change can be surprisingly high, and all of this needs regular review in order to ensure that your data continually stays fit for purpose.

As a parting thought, consider if this is a task you want to be undertaking yourself.

You know your own data the best and wrangling it yourself can have some advantages, but do you really have the time? Do you have access to a multiplicity of databases against which you can wash it? Are you able to create a scalable and automated process that can wash your data overnight?

Consider that a better use of your time might be to pass your knowledge into the hands of local experts who can then construct and automate a process that works perfectly for you – every time and all the time.

If you need help contact MDF the Marketing Data Cleansing Specialists

www.datafitness.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Online Entrepreneurs It’s a Tough Game

There seems to be so many small business and entrepreneurs out there trying to build online businesses nowadays.

That trend seems to have massively increased during the Coronavirus pandemic. It’s easy to see why when there are so many thousands of redundancies across the globe. People already knew a job for life was a thing of the past, but Covid has taken that notion to a whole new level.

The Day Job

You simply cannot reply on the day job any longer.

People want to take control of their own destiny and many see building an Online Business as a way of doing that.

But, the online business, Internet Marketing suffers from an extremely bad rap.

Internet Marketing “Gurus”

The so called “Internet Marketing Gurus” have a reputation something akin to snake oil salesmen. And you can see why. They have, over the years, left a trail of devastation behind them. Selling part solutions and “shiney object” “quick fix” solutions that either don’t give you everything you need to succeed or work for a very short time before being slapped by Google or Facebook.

Left behind are many disillusioned wannabe online entrepreneurs who are out of pocket and out of luck. And there are a small band online gurus earning small fortunes and delivering very little.

Thankfully, nowadays there are some who are providing true value online. This is obviously good for those who want to start an Internet Marketing business from their own home. The reason? Well, there’s nothing worse than getting all excited about a new venture to start implementing and realizing you simply don’t have all the necessary information!

Online Frustrations

That is seriously frustrating and the Guru who sold you the initial product will then want to charge you a whole lot more to reveal the next piece of the puzzle and so it goes on. A never ending spiral of increasing cost. It could end up being many thousands of dollars before you get to the true meat of the technique.

I’m not sure why this works, psychology they tell me, human psychology. Apparently we like being sold to and also like to re-enforce our own buying decisions.

However, as I said there are some online teachers providing true value these days. I talked to Derek Armson of DA Online Marketing and asked for his view.

“Absolutely everything you’ve said is totally valid”, he smiles over his Costa Coffee.

A Bad Start In Online Marketing

“When I first started back in 2006 I paid a complete Charlatan $1,799 to give me some ludicrous PLR crap, and I’m being honest here, it was awful, he then gave me some totally duff information on how to place Adwords (as it was at the time). He then promptly disappeared, I spent over $1,500 on ads for three $79 sales, one of which refunded!”

“To be fair, I would have refunded it as well”!

“And, it took me many years to learn the online marketing game. Many thousands in buying those shiney objects before I actually realized that you have to apply similar disciplines to online business and you do to any other!”

Learn Properly

“Once I got in deep and dirty and learned one aspect of online marketing…guess what? Yep, I made a success of it!”

“So, the message is pick one aspect of online marketing, dive deeply into it and learn it in detail. Then apply what you have learned!”

Derek did this and explains it in a detailed post on his blog which you can find here.

More on great digital marketing in our last post.

Online Marketing In The Pandemic

We’ve heard it said so many times, how life has changed beyond all recognition during these strange times in which we live.

Someone pointed me in the direction of an article back from 1919 when H1N1 (otherwise known as Spanish ‘Flu) was in full flow. Everyone was wearing masks and keeping their distance, so it’s not as if we haven’t been here before.

However, the world is a very different place to that we lived in 100 years ago. I was surprised at how similar things were, but of course the advent of the online world means we are now able to react in a totally new way.

It’s a Brave New World

It’s certainly true the pandemic winners are the major online marketers of the world. I believe Amazon has seen a massive increase in sales.

In the U.K Lidl and Aldi who were dead set against doing online sales are now implementing an online shopping function. So, it is changing the way business works.

Recruitment Indicators

And, in talking to recruiters of online marketing staff, also here in the U.K, I am told the online marketing jobs market is vibrant as companies either seek to enhance or employ online strategies.

It’s fair to say the technology employed in digital marketing is always changing and getting better. This obviously creates new skills requirements and increased efficiencies in the online marketing world.

However, given the crossover to buying online, the change is now moving apace. With further restrictions (at least) and possibly lockdowns to come this pace of change is only going to increase.

Changes In Fifteen Years

Indeed, in talking to those same recruiters, they tell me that the job descriptions inherent in wonder online marketing have changed beyond all recognition over just fifteen years. If you think back that time frame Amazon was still in its infancy. Probably only selling books and maybe CDs at that time.

New Roles

We have seen new job descriptions such as Growth Hacker appear (very recently), eMail Marketer, eCommerce vacancies have simply exploded as have product management roles.

Back those 15 years, most job titles encompassed the term “Online Marketing”. The roles very very generalist rather than the deep experts we now see digital marketing departments and organizations hiring.

Here’s Doug Bates at Intelligent People talking about this issue.

So, today we see a much wider variety of job roles within Online and Digital Marketing. This is partly driven by the newer technologies, but also by the need to achieve economies of scale and beat the competition.

Pivot!

We hear the term pivot all the time in these strange Covid times. But Online marketing departments and online marketing companies have been pivoting constantly since digital marketing first started to happen.

Therefore, they are at a distinct advantage in times of rapid change because they are used to it.

They have to roll with the technological advances which move at breakneck pace. Call it what you will, but pivot is a good and descriptive word. It’s what digital marketers do all the time. So, it’s no wonder the digital companies are sweeping all before them in these times. When the demise of the high street is being accelerated because people don’t want to go there any more. They are happy to shop online and so the big online companies establish and maximize their already strong positions.

What do you think has changed as Covid has taken hold and swept the world. Add a comment and let me know what you think?

Next post

15 Secretly Hidden Features of Mac You Probably Won’t Know

Hidden

Mac is one of the widely used operating systems in the world. They’re known for their quality products and services that always make the customers go gaga over their products. Apart from the pronounced amazing feature they offer, there are some hidden features that you might not be aware of. Read the article t know about the 15 most amazing hidden features of Mac that you probably didn’t know.

Merging folders

Mac provides the feature of merging the contents of two different folders with identical names, just by dragging them onto another one. Once you do that, you get a pop-up of merging or replace all content. After selecting merge, it creates a spate destination folder of the contents from both these files.

Merging folders

Volume and brightness control

Many added shortcuts are available for volume and brightness control.

Signature in preview

All Mac users know that Mac allows you to add a signature to your documents or anywhere for that matter. But, did you know that you can preview your signature? All you go to do is open the doc in preview mode and open the animations. Select the ‘Create Signature from Built-in sight’ option to view in preview mode.

Dictionary Access

Quick access to the dictionary helps people in reading or writing a document better. A double click on a particular word using three fingers gives the meaning of the word.

Restoring scroll bars

Mac gadgets, especially in Lion versions, the scroll bars are turned off by default and only ops up when you start scrolling. It can be consuming at times. But you can change this by CHOOSING ‘Always’ in the Show Scroll Bars option in settings.

Built-in emoji

Mac offers built-in emojis that re both fun and easy to use and access. Hence, you got to try this feature out!

Speech to text conversion

One of the cool features of Mac is dictation typing, which works amazingly well. By pressing on (fn) key twice, you can directly convert all your speech to text. The latest version, also allows you to type as and when you speak, simultaneously.

emoji

Create a new desktop

It is a cool and new feature in Mac gadgets, where just by pressing the A+ tab, you can create a new desktop.

Preview files

Hold the space bar and select a file that you wish to preview, whether it is an image or a video file and you can preview the files by pressing the down arrow button.

Delete apps in launch pad

It is the best and easy way to clean up all the old applications. You can do this by using the launch pad interface and the iOS-style wiggle mode.

Turn off notification

What seems evident for android users, are an extension for Mac user and turning off notifications is one among them. Thus can be done even by putting them in Do Not Disturb Toggle.

Close running apps

To avoid the consumption of lots of space and power, you can close all the running applications in the background.

notification

Hot Corners

Hot corners trigger specific actions and events just by touching the corners of your phone.

Open duplicate file

Many versions of Mac, lack the save as option, hence duplication of files is an added advantage to do so.

Auto completing words

If you have a problem with spellings, then press F5 or Option + escape to select from the list of spellings and predictions.

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