The Top Five Most Common Data Pitfalls (and how to avoid them)


Here at Oceanos one of the most frequently asked questions by our clients and prospects is “What should I be doing to reach my marketing goals?” Well, while each company and database is different and needs its own approach, we can tell you what you shouldn’t be doing. Below, see our Top Five Most Common Data Pitfalls (and how to avoid them):


  1. Bulk Data Purchases and Mass Email Blasts: The old practice of buying as many names as possible and mass emailing is now a thing of the past. The reason? Poor response rates. Think quality over quantity. Marketers are now focusing on finding the correct contacts at the right accounts and messaging to them more specifically. This has resulted in better response rates and a much improved relationship between sales and marketing.


  1. Not Taking Risks: With great risk can come great reward, but only if you are willing to try! Using the same message and methods is great if they are tried and true, but many new prospects are discovered through new approaches. If you usually email, don’t be afraid to have sales pick up the phone. If you mainly focus on inbound, maybe try a direct mail campaign. Keeping your ideas fresh utilizing different channels keeps your database updated with a constant influx of contacts.


  1. Sending campaigns to a Black Hole: Do you remember the last time you cleansed your database? Best Practice:  you should be cleansing (email verification) your database about every six months. SiriusDecisions even quotes that there is a drop off of 3% of bad data each and every month.  If you are not removing the bad data from your database your response rates are immediately impacted, and your campaign results are skewed lower than they should be.  Also, bad data can cause “false coverage” at an account when in fact the person has moved onto a different company.  


  1. Sending Everyone the Same Message: As marketers we run a variety of projects and campaigns in order to find prospects. From webinars to trade shows, we bring in contact data that needs to be messaged to appropriately. Once these prospects are in your CRM or MAP, make sure you categorize them appropriately. Chances are somebody who sat through your webcast or who you met at a conference is going to be more likely to respond to an email based on where you first engaged with them as opposed to a general marketing message. Don’t be afraid to remind them about the time they already put in to learn about your brand!


  1. Putting All Your Eggs in One Basket: The best database you can have is one with data from a variety of sources. Tapping into third party, publisher, subscription, and inbound data makes for a well-rounded pool of contacts. Focusing too much on one specific type of data can leave you missing out on contacts who would be a great fit for your offering. Don’t be afraid to try different types and see how they work for you.


If you would like to learn more, contact Stacey (Corwin) Elliot, Client Strategy Manger at