When it’s time to create a marketing campaign, insurance carriers, medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies need to ensure they send the right content to specific physicians and healthcare professionals. Segmenting audiences by patients, organization size and individual buyer characteristics increases the relevance of the materials and promotes ongoing business relationships.
But what if your physician email list is wrong? The details used to create content and target campaigns could contain outdated information, incorrect addresses or other data errors preventing success. What’s worse is marketers may be unaware their contact databases contain mistakes until after they’ve wasted time and resources.
“97 percent of businesses suffer from incorrect contact information.”
The severity of the problem
Odds are, your company’s marketing department has dealt with dirty data. A 2015 Experian report on global data quality found 97 percent of businesses suffer from incorrect contact information in some way, shape or form. As companies prioritize capturing audience data, the problem only grows more severe.
HealthLink Dimensions decided to study how the growing problem of dirty data specifically affected the medical industry. In our report “The State of Health Sciences Data,” we found two-thirds of healthcare marketers felt their data records and medical contact list are missing vital details. Professionals in charge of contacting doctors, nurse practitioners and other decision-makers feel they don’t have enough insight into audience demographics or their current records are incomplete through error or problematic data-collecting techniques.
Dirty data leads to ineffective marketing
Running campaigns with bad data could lead to obvious problems like emails coming back as undeliverable, but the negative results could be more subtle. About 40 percent of medical marketers believe poor information lead to operational inefficiencies causing employees to double check physician email lists. It also prevents companies from relying on time-saving, cost-efficient strategies like medical email marketing automation.
Another 40 percent of respondents to our survey said bad data prevents healthcare marketers from gaining insight into clients and campaigns. CMSWire suggested this is a common problem for marketers with inaccurate data in their contact lists. Not only does it prevent companies from receiving feedback on specific content, but organizations that make plans based around dirty data will create unrealistic expectations for success. For example, if you have a 100 emails in your marketing list, your documented goals may not account for 40 of those physicians moving on to other positions.
“As contacts change, the information collected by marketers has to change as well.”
Causes of bad information
Doctors retiring or changing positions is a common obstacle for marketers. The American Medical Group Association said physician turnover occurs much more frequently in recent years than ever before. As contacts change, the information collected by marketers has to change as well.
Another problem causing dirty data is a lack of a specific information plan. TechCrunch described how many modern companies collect data from consumers not knowing what to do with it. They recognize major brands profiting from audience segmentation and data analysis, but they don’t take the time to create documented goals for their own collection or management strategies. Medical marketers listed a lack of data management strategies and internal resources as primary causes of bad information in contact lists.
Human error was another culprit. Sometimes, the people responsible don’t know what to look for when capturing details about leads and opportunities, and in other instances, multiple software users may just post contradictory information or make simple data entry mistakes.
What marketers can do
Recognizing the potential and consequences of bad data is the first step to improving efficiency and gaining business insight. Medical marketers need fast, simple and cost-effective solutions such as software or partners to perform data append and data cleansing services.
Data Science Central said most data cleansing occurs too slowly. A business usually doesn’t have time to go through each of its contacts and update the details after collecting accurate information, especially as more and more data pours in every day. The solutions implemented into an office have to be consistent and provide functionality for daily use.
This may mean training employees on new data collection and management strategies supported by software solutions or companies could find a data cleansing service willing to work as an ongoing partner. Bad data will always be a potential problem, so medical marketers must investigate which solution works best for the present and the future.