Irony at work : Successful Data-Driven Marketing Starts with Accurate Data

Over the last couple of months there has been an increase in the amount of calls, post and emails received here at Hightrees.  The interesting point is that the name , the company name and job title are for someone who has NO connection with us at all.

A little bit of Google research showed that the name, position did belong to a company in the UK with a variation of our company name.

Normally this type of thing would get filed in the junk folder or thrown on the fire, but after receiving a phone call from the PR and Events promotion team from a large well known UK Football team, it appeared to us that this appeared to be a new data source, so it seemed like a good idea to play detective.

A few telephone calls were returned and we got a standard “we can not divulge that information” but you have been removed from our system.

Attempts to contact the organisations sending emails disappeared into the ether as well – not looking good….until yesterday.

A very polite email from a UK company, addressed to the wrong person but using our email address arrived, so a quick verification of their email details against their website should it was a reputable company and so a response was sent asking for where our information had come from. To be honest, we weren’t expecting a response but Jon was extremely helpful and cited where their information came from as well as a website plus doing the decent thing and removed the incorrect information.

Armed with a cuppa, expecting a long argument, we called the Email List Marketing company in question, and somewhat to our surprise, they immediately divulged where the data had come from after we had supplied a few details based on their customer who had emailed us, along with a contact phone number.

Alarm bells were ringing at this point as to what impact this information mismatch could cause, so a hasty call was made to their ICC and Compliance Department.

After explaining the problem, we were told that it might be tricky to trace where the information was being mis-matched but the incorrect data was identified fairly quickly (admittedly more by luck!).  The member of staff sounded genuinely surprised that this had occurred.  The cause is unknown as it comes from multiple sources, however their internal verification process should stop this and it looks like Hightrees was the unlikely in getting “lost” in the system.

End result : We have been told verbally that there will be a supression on that information until such a time it is correct and there is no “financial” impact in this faulty data match.  Unfortuantely there is no way of telling how much of this incorrect data has been sold, referenced or distributed so we can probably expect more junk in assorted forms for a while.  An email confirming the corrections has been received, with the cause of the problem most likely pointing to “human error”.

We’d like to thank those who were willing to help get to the bottom of this information mismatch – especially the Chris @ Dun and Bradstreet Customer Services for confirming that all of the incorrect data has been corrected.

Oh, and the irony ? A Twitter post from the US side of D&B “Marketers need accurate to better engage/target buyers with data-driven ” ! You can see the article here

Dun and Bradstreet Twitter Post screenshot