If you thought data is static, you are probably right only partly. Much of the data we use for marketing purposes is actually dynamic in nature. It changes and evolves in real-time, and when databases aren’t updated or monitored in real-time, they quickly become obsolete and redundant. Market requirements fluctuate too. What is in demand today won’t probably be the next week, but might return as a rage the next year. It is important to continuously monitor and update the marketing database simply because everything changes with time.
Larger enterprises often use data management platforms (DMP) but that only goes to a certain extent. One still needs to monitor and use different approaches to update marketing databases some of which are quite organic in nature. For instance, discarding a database based on social or ethical reasons requires human decisions. In addition, there are regulatory, enterprise and technological reasons why you need to update the marketing database continuously.
Here are five reasons that help you understand why databases need to be updated in real-time:
1. Compliance with regulatory authorities
Ever since the GDPR rolled out last year, enterprises have begun to be more careful with the data they collect. GDPR requires every company to collect data only with prior consent of the individual. In addition, there are other regulatory authorities such as HIPAA in the US, which require you to safeguard data you store on your systems. As marketing database consists of a lot of sensitive data and information, it needs to be updated constantly by deleting information for which there is no longer consent. Most companies have already had to delete databases that were collected and stored prior to GDPR rollout.
2. Consent can be withdrawn anytime
An important clause within the GDPR is that an individual can withdraw consent to sharing personally identifiable information at any time. This means, they can make requests for having their data deleted from your systems even after giving consent. Others may not request for deletion and may actually forget that they have consented to share information. This is why, it is important to seek consent regularly via email newsletters to make sure that they still want to receive your emails. The same rule is applicable for other channels of communication where data maybe stored for marketing purposes.
3. Market evolves and changes continuously
Market trends change rapidly based on a number of factors. What is in demand today will quickly diminish in importance tomorrow only to return after a little while. In addition, market trends are influenced by social and economic changes. If we looked at the world around us, it becomes crystal clear that databases can prove to be irrelevant in a short span of time. For example, just a few years ago brands focused on millennials in all their marketing communication. Today, their successors, the Gen Z are more important to marketing professionals. Databases need to be updated constantly and analytical tools should consider these changes will deriving insight. Using old databases to draw insight will lead to incorrect predictions.
4. Rapid shifts in demography
As discussed in the previous point, as demographics age, their needs and choices evolve too. Databases need to be standardized and restructured depending on the shifts in demography. Another important factor leading to changes in demography is migration and immigration. These factors need to be considered as well, without causing offense to a previous group of people that were likely favored by marketers. People are sensitive enough to detect changes in the style of marketing communication and attribute it to changes that take place in a given society. Issues related to ageism, racism, colorism and linguistic differences should all be accounted for and updated, while storing information in marketing databases.
5. Technology changes in real-time
Technology related to databases is changing rapidly. Analytical software and artificial intelligence have both influenced how data sets are analyzed and insights are drawn. In addition, multiple software programs are integrated in order to create a unitary copy of data. As and when enterprises start using new software tools, data stored in those tools need to be integrated within the central repository, without creating duplicate copies. The way libraries are stored and databases are maintained have changed too. These are all factors that need to be taken into account while drawing marketing insight. This is why, databases need to be constantly monitored and updated.
It is crucial to update databases continuously
Marketing databases consist of a variety of information that are dynamic in nature. People change jobs, market requirements evolve, and even the technology that we use changes quickly. Which is why, data cleaning and data standardization services are so important. Here are the key reasons:
- Updating marketing databases regularly helps comply with regulatory authorities such as GDPR.
- Seek consent of customers to store their personally identifiable information regularly, which too is a regulatory requirement
- Market-related data can become obsolete quickly and need to be monitored continuously just like demographic data, which too evolves constantly
- Libraries and technologies with which databases are stored and maintained can become obsolete too.