Dirty databases are on the up! New research shows that an increasing number of consumers are intentionally giving false information to mess up databases. The main reasons are that they have concerns about their privacy and are getting fed up with adverts everywhere they look. The stats are an interesting read and some reasons for dirtying the data are rather entertaining (source: Verve). The top reason is to protect their privacy but here are some of the others. ‘To track how companies are using my information’, ‘To prevent online advertising’ and ‘Because I like messing up company databases’. Whilst these are primarily focussed on consumer marketing it is worth keeping in mind when you are carrying out your own call-arounds to verify data. Maybe you are cleaning up a purchased database or investing the time in building your own. It is worth remembering that one third of people admit to giving fake email addresses.
Companies need to focus more on educating or at least persuading individuals to part with their details and that of their colleagues. Why should the receptionist confirm that the IT Director still works there and that his email is still correct? What benefit will they receive from helping you validate and collect data for your own gain? Brand recognition and an understanding of your company’s USPs will help with this conversation. Clear messaging on how your company can help theirs is a starting point for building trust. Sharing information in the form of blogs and white papers further reinforces that your company is knowledgeable and that information sharing is a two-way street.