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Insight/ Online Media

Banish The Goblins From Your Contact Database


by Maribeth Ross
VP Of Marketing

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While some people plan their Halloween costumes months in advance, others rush to the stores at the last minute. If you’re a B2B marketer, then you know that 11th-hour approach as it relates to maintaining your contact database will haunt ensuing email marketing campaigns.   

Suffice to say, data hygiene and quality are major challenges. Marketers have access to more data than ever; in fact, SiriusDecisions recently found that the average database doubles in size annually. With data flying into the database from inbound sources as well as others, it is no surprise that things can get scary. If your team has been struggling with disappointing campaign results due to incomplete or inaccurate contact data, then Halloween could be the perfect time for your database to reinvent itself by following these three tips: 

1. Sometimes less is more. There’s only so much candy one can eat before feeling sick. While the goal is to have a robust and comprehensive database, if you’re housing data that isn’t adding value to your programs and is just taking up space, it’s time to get rid of it. A recent NetProspex study found that business records decay at a rate of 2 percent per month, and SiriusDecisions has reported that up to 30 percent of a contact database goes bad each year. Stay on top of your data decay problem by purging your database regularly and making room for great new contacts.

2. Quality is key. You wouldn’t pick up your costume from the discount bin of poor quality costumes, so make sure you are requiring the same level of quality from your database—it will pay off in the long run. Studies have found that for every 1  percent of data quality improvement, a B2B organization can create 5  percent in additional revenue. In fact, companies that employ consistent data hygiene create seven times the number of inquiries and four times the number of leads. Although it may cost a little more in the short term, investing in data quality improvement pays off.

3. Don’t be afraid to accessorize. Once you have a solid base of clean, high-quality data, you’re ready to incorporate add-ons that will heighten your program performance, such as enhanced targeting intelligence. The pay-off for this can be huge, since untargeted campaigns have been proven to cost nearly 3.6 times as much as targeted campaigns. Go beyond the basics to determine details on more than just geography, title, and industry.  If you can identify specific factors, such as the technologies a lead has running in its company, you will be better informed of where your product is a fit and how to message to that company uniquely given its technology environment.

The bottom line is when it comes to your contact database, dressing it up one night a year won’t be enough to ensure long-term, quality results. Guaranteeing that your database is working hard every day requires frequent attention and cultivation. Once you determine the right strategy, your contact data will be yielding treats, not tricks, year-round.