The Return On Ad Spend

How accurate, realtime data wins over decayed data

At first glance, this title might seem like it’s addressing a straightforward truth. Of course accurate data is going to perform better than inaccurate, decayed, data. Anybody, marketer or not, could probably tell you that. But what’s really at stake is whether the outcomes of pursuing robust, accurate, decisions are worth the upfront investments and effort needed. Companies often think it’s easier to skip that added cost and time and stick with data that might be decayed.

Many brands struggle with addressing decayed data, simply because they don’t see the disadvantages. So the real question is, why do we maintain accurate, realtime data? Are our efforts really matching our outcomes? Is the investment in maintaining clean data worth the solutions it brings about? This is where AdStir enters the conversation. With AdStir, which makes the process easy and simple, the answer is yes. But let’s look at the complexities of that answer—the “how” our title promises.

How bad is decayed data, really?

Data decay happens faster than we might think—with customers moving, changing emails, phone numbers, and otherwise becoming unreachable every single day, it can become difficult for companies to keep up without proper systems in place to support or maintain data hygiene. With the fast pace of modern day culture, spurred by our online lives and increased interconnection, these changes add up over the course of days, months and years. Eventually, a company’s customer base can be totally replaced.

Data decay, which is the deterioration of data in marketing databases, when coupled with inaccurate entries in those same databases (which can take the form of missing contact fields, duplicate entries, typos, and variations on spelling), can lead to a number of unfortunate outcomes, not least of which is a failed marketing campaign. However, it’s easier, less expensive, and faster to just not worry about dealing with inaccurate data. How bad could data decay be, anyway? So what if a couple customers slip through the cracks in our vast marketing campaigns, when we’re targeting hundreds and hundreds of customers?

To a company with this mindset, verifying every single piece of data might seem like overkill. But data decay is a lot more rampant than one might expect. Data decay also happens to be one of those issues that when not addressed early on, can snowball into something much bigger, and much more difficult to reverse.

Here’s how fast types of data turn over

  • 18% of phone numbers change yearly
  • 28% of primary emails change yearly
  • 40% change at least once every two years
  • 20% of postal addresses change yearly
  • 21% percent of CEOs change yearly
  • 60% of people change job titles in their organizations yearly

Data decay can be unexpectedly fast. For those in the B2B business space, data decay can occur at an even quicker pace. At any given time, the firm Sirius Decisions estimates that around 25 percent of the average B2B database is inaccurate. Additionally, approximately 40 percent of B2B sales leads contain bad data, according to a study done by Internal Results.

As you might assume, data decay can be quite detrimental to a company’s goals, reputation, and campaigns. Companies that decrease their investment in data see a decline in both sales and marketing performance, and a significant one at that. In fact, in a Gartner report, it’s estimated that bad data costs companies almost $13 million a year. Not only can you have an unsuccessful marketing campaign, but you can have a number of additional issues like customers unsubscribing from email lists because they’re put off due to irrelevant marketing content, high numbers of customers unsubscribing from emails, inability to have effective follow-ups, the possibility of getting blacklisted, bad experiences for the marketing team, frustrating the sales process, and misinformed decision-making.

Despite the clear consequences of bad data, about half of marketing teams and B2B businesses say that a lack of data quality remains one of their biggest challenges. So why is a lack of accurate data such a big challenge for companies, so much so that it makes them unwilling to invest in the types of measures that would ensure accurate data, when we know the consequences? Well, for one, many companies remain unaware of the impact bad data is having on their business. One research firm estimated that 60 percent of businesses don’t actually know how much bad data is costing them—because they don’t measure its impact.

Knowing the impact is just one step to addressing the problem, and it’s a problem worth addressing. In the long run, it becomes far cheaper and more effective to cleanse data regularly than ignore the issue. So what’s the solution? How do we ensure accurate data? What does this sort of investment in accurate data look like?

The value in updated, clean, accurate, realtime data

So far we know the consequences of bad data—not only the metrics and the bottom line decrease in profit, but the risked relationships with customers, the effects on company reputation, the wasted time and frustrated teams. And we know the value of data hygiene—despite the initial investment, data cleaning pays off in big ways. It’s even better when this process is cooked into the data systems you choose. Bad data carries a high price. Good data not only negates the effects of bad data, but has its own benefits as well. But what are the true benefits of real-time data—as opposed to periodic or even daily data updates?

Data hygiene is the process through which companies comb through their data to remove decayed and inaccurate data. Some companies do this periodically, making use of outside services to help parse through data and remove duplicate entries, fill in missing information fields, and update phone numbers, email addresses, and the like. This is an upfront investment that, as we know from the dangers of data decay, will pay off for the companies that engage in it. Not only does it raise profits, but it improves brand credibility, results in more efficient campaigns, and leads to less frustrated marketers chasing leads. It’s important to automate this process and cleanse data as often as possible—ideally, in real-time. Rather than engaging in one-time data cleanups, companies can engage in ongoing maintenance for improved efficiency—which is, more and more, the right and only way to go.

When you have accurate, realtime data, you’re always targeting the right people, getting accurate insights, escaping data turnover, keeping up minute-by-minute with your audience, and acting on those insights at the right time. With successful data and real-time data, you can also automate many aspects of the sales and marketing process. Automated campaigns rely on data accuracy. With AdStir and Stirista’s OMNA identity graph, this process is automatic. At its heart, Stirista is a data company. It’s with the value in updated, accurate, realtime data in mind that Stirista created the OMNA Identity Graph. Rather than occurring periodically, like the data hygiene some companies do, Stirista’s data is updated in real-time, second-by-second, to match the pace of real life. Second-to-second updates allow you to make better adjustments to your marketing strategy, not only before and after, but during the customer journey. Stirista’s Identity Graph platform also enables marketers to have access to hundreds of identifiers across millions of online, offline, social, and household personas. Identity graphs like OMNA are essential tools for navigating the targeting and attribution requirements of advertisers and the relevance and privacy demands of consumers, at a pace that mirrors the speed of life.

Adstir: We own our data, so we can ensure accuracy

All in all, companies that aren’t making quality data the basis of their activation approaches or even their householding strategies are starting themselves off with a disadvantage. However, good quality data opens the doors to more sophisticated and interesting marketing strategies. With a good foundation—like OMNA, which is available with AdStir—you can build taller and more sophisticated strategies for your marketing campaigns.

While Stirista’s AdStir’s primary function is as a DSP (Demand Side Platform) that purchases digital ad impressions on CTV streaming services, websites, and mobile apps, it also has excellent targeting data built in, at no extra cost. This includes Stirista segments, onboarded first party data segments, and website retargeting segments. Whether you’re using Stirista data or onboarding your own, without the need to connect to third party data stores, advertisers save both time and money.

Most DSPs have some very light targeting capabilities built in, and require advertisers needing more advanced targeting data to bring that data in from third party data stores. When advertisers do this, they have to pay an extra CPM to the data store on top of their media cost. Because this targeting data is free in AdStir, advertisers don’t have to pay extra for Stirista segments, onboarded 1st party data segments, or website retargeting segments.  Stirista targeting segments are top sellers in a lot of these data stores, so if you’re talking to a heavy programmatic buyer it’s likely they’re already paying Stirista. So why not get it for free?

AdStir gives customers a better return on their ad spend by providing them with better data at a lower cost—and ensuring accurate, updated, and efficient data along the way.