90% of enterprise analytics believe that data is key to digital transformation initiatives in any company. Especially for large enterprises that comprise multiple departments and continuously process a high volume of heterogeneous information. If they adopt no or poor master data management strategy, they will soon end up with tons of duplicate and messy data elements. Apart from slowing down business processes, such data also affects customer service and harms regulatory compliance.
If you are about to develop a master data management strategy, don’t forget about address data management as one of its main components. Many businesses get so obsessed with digital communication channels that they start neglecting offline mail. As a result, customers are delivered wrong mailings, get outdated information, or don’t receive critical messages at all. The business image severely suffers.
To avoid such issues and build the right address data management strategy, follow our tips. In this article, we will cover:
- What is address data management?
- Reasons to include address data management into your master data management strategy.
- What companies need address data management?
- Address data management approaches, including address capture, address validation, and others.
What Is Address Data Management?
Address data management is all procedures taken to collect mailing addresses from customers, run address validation, standardize addresses, clean them, and keep up to date. Address data management is usually performed with mail automation software connected with internal and third-party databases.
The main goal of address data management is to continuously support data sources’ quality and create a single customer view for all teams. This increases the accuracy of marketing communications, helps to prevent fraud, and brings many other benefits described below.
Why Do You Need to Include Address Data Management into Your Master Data Management Strategy?
Address data management is usually a part of a more comprehensive master data management (MDM) strategy. In addition to customer addresses, the MDM strategy considers many other critical data types used to obtain information about business entities. Thus, address data management is a valuable supplement to your master data management strategy.
But why do you need to pay so much attention to address data management? Here are the main reasons:
- Address data management is required to send accurate communications. To showcase how low-quality address data management may affect your business, let’s analyze an example. Imagine you developed a marketing campaign that targets teenagers on a specific mailing list. To attract their interest and make your voice heard in the noise of digital ads, you adopt direct mail marketing. The campaign successfully runs for two years but then starts to lose its efficiency. More and more mailings are returned or reach the wrong delivery point. Why does this happen? A missing address master data management strategy may be one of the reasons. A large share of the targeted households changed their addresses, but you had no MDM software to instantly update the data. Thus, you keep sending personalized marketing materials to the wrong people and have them returned. The same happens with any kind of mailing communications, including invoices, adverse action notices, bank statements, etc.
- Address data management is critical in omnichannel campaigns. Without a reliable address master data management strategy, you will never implement an effective omnichannel campaign. Since omnichannel communications are heavily data-driven and rely on the unified database, you must keep address data in order and update it in real-time.
- Address master data management strategy increases security. Data governance helps to limit the internal access to your database and, therefore, reduces the risk of leakage or breaches. The accuracy of records and address validation additionally protect you from possible frauds. You can instantly check the information provided by a suspected attacker against reliable records to ensure nothing threatens your business processes and customers.
Thus, address data management is one of the steps you need to take on the way to digital transformation. Whether you deliver direct mail or use address data for any other purpose, customer information must be accurate.
Address Data Management Checklist: Does Your Company Need It Right Now?
It may well be that within the next several years, a master data management strategy will be implemented by most large businesses. Yet for some companies and organizations, it’s life-critical today. If you’re still not sure whether to adopt address data management, answer the following questions:
- Are you using lots of customer address data for sending direct mail, verification, or other purposes?
- Are you an enterprise dealing with big data?
- Do you see address validation as one of the ways to improve the security of your business?
- Do you serve large volumes of customers?
- Are you suffering from messy data source systems and want to standardize all information?
- Do you plan on implementing marketing automation and other kinds of business automation solutions?
- Do you have cross- or omnichannel marketing campaigns based on direct mail in place?
If you have replied “Yes” to all or most of these questions, your enterprise won’t survive without address data management. Consider implementing a comprehensive address master data management strategy to stay proactive.
Address Data Management Approaches: Address Capture, Address Validation, and Other
Since address data management consists of multiple procedures, you will need to implement data governance at different levels. From the first contact with a customer throughout the whole journey, don’t forget about data validation, enrichment, and updates. Here’re the most common address data management approaches to use.
Data source selection
Use reliable datasets or collect custom mailing lists on your own. For example, you can place an address capture pop-up form on your website to encourage visitors to share their contact details in exchange for a discount, free subscription, or another bonus.
Never try your luck with unreliable data sellers that offer unverified data sources.
Try to prevent errors and spelling mistakes by instantly highlighting the problematic field once a customer does something wrong. It’s also useful to provide on-screen tips during the registration procedure.
When you use several data sources, don’t forget to implement address standardization. This will prepare your database for the integration with automation services and enable all teams within your company to easily share the same data.
To know whether a specific US or international address is mailable, you will need to introduce address validation as a part of your address data management strategy. You may either use conventional tools supplied by USPS, such as the National Change of Address (NCOA) service or take a quantum leap and subscribe to Inkit’s platform with built-in address validation. Apart from address validation and enrichment, Inkit fully automates mail printing and delivery, integrates direct mail with digital marketing channels, and offers other cutting-edge capabilities.
Benefit from existing data to learn more about your customers and start targeting them across multiple channels. For example, you can get a physical address from an email only. Cross-channel communication enhances customer experience and marketing performance.
Automated data updates and cleansing
After you’ve run address validation and ordered all your data with an MDM solution, information management shouldn’t stop. Integrate your CRM with mail automation software that verifies addresses to cleanse your database automatically.
Interested in automated address data management? Contact our team to find out how Inkit can help you with that.