Is More Data Better? How Do You Know You Have the Right Data? (The Digital Nirvana)

When it comes to marketing blogs, there is always a flavor de jour. Currently, it’s big data. If not “big data,” then at least more data. So it was interesting when Thorin McGee, editor of Target Marketing, asked the question, “Can you ever have too much data?”

The question was asked on a LinkedIn board, along with an online poll, and the responses so far are limited and not yet useful, but there were two comments to the post that are worth thinking about.

The line is to stop collecting data, when the cost of collecting it exceeds your ability to use it to improve your profitability. — David Himes (Direct Commerce Advisors)

You can never have enough of the “right” data. Data that is collected should provide insights and [be] collected for the purpose of answering questions that are important for the future health, development and achieving the marketing objectives of the business. Too much data is collected because it can be collected and not because it is useful or needed. And, often or not, not understood or acted upon in any case! — Rob Wilcox (WebMedia Inbound Marketing)

Print businesses are frequently talking about helping their customers collect data, but what kind of data? You append your database and set up PURL surveys to collect all sorts of information, but is that data actually going to help your customers market better? What questions are being asked to determine which data is the right data to improve marketing results? After all, you can personalize something without making it relevant.

How do you know what questions to ask to make sure you’re gathering the right data to help your customers?

About the author: Heidi Tolliver-Walker is an industry analyst specializing in digital, one-to-one, personalized URL and Web-to-print applications. Her Marketer’s Primer Series, available through Digital Printing Reports, includes “Digital Printing: Transforming Business and Marketing Models,” 1:1 (Personalized) Printing: Boosting Profits Through Relevance,” “Personalized URLs: Beyond the Hype” and “Web-to-Print: Transforming Document Management and Marketing.”

Read the full article here.

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