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How much do you trust the data you get from your customer relationship management (CRM) software?

From all the sales in your funnel to how certain kinds of ads perform against others, CRMs can provide publishers with lots of valuable insights. But research suggests many organizations are putting too much faith in bad data. In fact, while 76% of CRM users say the quality of their CRM data is “good”, or even “very good,” half also report that poor-quality data is robbing them of sales, according to the State of CRM Data Management in 2022 report.

There’s a clear mismatch between the data perception and the data reality, and that’s bad news for media organizations. Quality CRM data empowers teams across a media organization to make better decisions every day. Meanwhile, bad data hits a publisher’s bottom line in more than one way. According to the same report:

  • 75% of CRM users say poor data costs their company customers

  • 44% of respondents say bad data leads to revenue losses of more than 10%

  • 69% claim low-grade data is why their company can’t complete potentially valuable initiatives

With these impacts, it’s easy to see how bad data costs US companies a staggering $3.1 trillion annually. Fortunately, publishers can take concrete steps to improve CRM data. In this blog post, we outline what’s at stake with bad CRM data and show publishers how to address the risks it poses.

3 Data Dangers to Watch Out For

There are many possible data danger points, but over time they all contribute to one worrisome thing: data decay. On average, CRM users expect their data quality to decay by 34% if new investments aren’t made, according to the State of CRM Data Management report.

Here are three of the most common CRM data danger points to watch out for to prevent data decay:

1. Partial entries
Perhaps somebody started making an entry and then got distracted, or there was a miscommunication. In any case, incomplete entries clog up databases.

2. Duplicates
Double or triple entries can quickly pile up and cause inefficiencies, inaccurate reporting, and even increased marketing costs.

3. Outdated records
Your CRM data shouldn’t be treated as static, but when it is, you end up with outdated entries. What good is a record of an email address if it’s no longer active?

How to Start Fixing Bad CRM Data

Incomplete, duplicate or outdated records are just some of the many data danger points out there. However, the following five steps should help your media organization greatly improve the quality of your CRM data over time.

1. Conduct a Data Audit

In the post-pandemic environment, it’s critically important to first take stock of your existing data sets and CRM data processes with a comprehensive data audit. With Covid-19 ushering in new remote working policies, data quality took a hit as employees adapted to a new normal. In fact, 70% of CRM users say job changes and work arrangements have sunk data quality to an all-time low.

When auditing your database, there are several important areas to focus on, including user access, security risks, data cleanup and customer experience. Read our blog post on database auditing for more information on how to tackle these and why it’s so important.

2. Establish a Specific Strategy For Database Cleanliness

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. The strategy, which should be informed by your audit, could require daily, monthly or bi-annual actions, depending on your media company’s needs.

Possible tasks include updating data fields, establishing new fields, removing outdated ones, searching for (and deleting) duplicates and so on. Create one or more database cleanliness roles within your organization and ensure that someone takes ownership of monitoring the database for cleanliness.

3. Remove Silos in Data Management

Your media company’s data serves the entire business, not just the sales team. As part of a broader data management strategy, grant wide access to data and make sure that all of your teams are engaged and understand why data management is important.

Doing this will also enhance interdepartmental collaboration. When everyone has access to the same data, everyone is kept on the same page, resulting in better communication, streamlined workflows and fewer inaccuracies.

4. Harness Technology

Of course, much of the bad data your company has will be down to simple human error. It’s estimated that the probability of human error when manually entering data sits between 18-40%.

Technology that uses automation, like Adpoint, will help you remove tedious, manual processes and in turn minimize the threat of human error. Not only will this uphold the integrity of your data, it will also give your staff more time to focus on other important aspects of the business.

5. Be Vigilant

Whatever strategies your media organization establishes for data cleanliness and management, make sure that all relevant teams strictly adhere to them. Consistency is important – without it, you can’t build trust. After all, if the rules are constantly changing, your colleagues may not take them so seriously.

Use Data to Inform Business Decisions

Data is meant to take the guesswork out of decision-making. In the same breath, dirty data can muddy up the waters and seriously hinder business growth. Once you take the steps to improve your database and embrace proper data hygiene, you’ll be able to harness the power of information to make more informed business decisions and execute more successful campaigns.

Cleaning up your data and overhauling processes may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right tools and experts by your side, it’s as easy as one, two, three.

Need help? Contact us today to book a data strategy consultation and see how Lineup can help you develop better data strategy.


Lineup Systems is the world's leading provider of media sales technology, representing over 6,800 media brands globally, including Gannett/USA Today, New York Times and News Corp. Amplio is Lineup's multi- channel audience monetization solution that helps media companies realize their full reader revenue potential, using data-driven intelligence to engage, nurture and monetize readers with personalized offers that increase reader revenue and reduce churn. Adpoint is Lineup's end-to-end multi-channel media advertising sales solution that helps media companies streamline operations, make better use of data, increase efficiency and boost revenue.