Why Understaffing the Data Team is a BIG MISTAKE

Skimping on your data squad could be your biggest plot twist — and not the good kind.

why understaffing the data team is a BIG MISTAKE 65c415336b310
15 February 2024 ∙ 4 min read

Marketing campaigns are like high-speed bullet trains zooming down the tracks.

Now, bullet trains in the real world are loaded with all sorts of safety mechanisms and security features, because dying from traveling too fast too furious isn’t a great way to go. For both you and the people who make these trains.

But in marketing? It’s too easy to let one loose bolt…or a tiny oopsie in your data management…derail the entire operation.

You can bet that from the start to the end of the train tracks, and from the head of the train down to its behind, a bunch of people work exclusively on making sure nothing sends anybody (and most especially the train) flying. And that’s the mindset businesses need to have in the lifecycle of data.

Table of Contents

Generally, the lifecycle looks like this: 

  1. Acquire leads from a list provider, an internal lead generation team, or even from the existing customer database
  2. Send the leads to a data management team who will process the information
  3. Go to a call centre or a sales team who will try to convert those leads into sales. 

We’ve seen way too many cases where boards focus their attention and budgets to the sales area of business, neglecting to pay attention to departments that fuel the sales team with data.  

When you stare at the void...the void stares back

Today, nobody wants to be that business employing thousands of employees and running exclusively on the backs of two to three people doing data management on pennies. After all, who would want to ride on a car that only has two to three wheels? 

Basically, businesses will never reach their peak performance when they’re working with poorly managed data. 

So, raise your hand if you’ve ever had to: 

  • Find multiple entries for one person, each having slight differences or typos per entry 
  • Deal with the embarrassment of sending promotional emails with incorrect names or, worse, ‘Dear [Insert Name Here]’ 
  • Run a fantastic offer, only to find out it never reached or didn’t maximize its reach to your target audience 
  • Get hyped over a hot lead only to find out that they unsubscribed to your service ages ago 
  • Call a prospect, or even an old customer, just to be told that they haven’t lived there for ten years 
  • Face the awkwardness of contacting a customer for feedback on a product they never received due to an address error. 
  • Prepare a report for your boss, only to find out that the data you’re referencing is literally in an alien language. 

These situations are just the tip of the iceberg of shame. If businesses don’t pay enough attention to data management, they’re basically signing up for a slow and painful death by a thousand cuts. Eventually, they’ll have to resign themselves to a steady loss in revenue. 

How to avoid overstaffing

Proper budget allocation for each section of the chain is one part of the solution. The other is making sure the data management team is sufficiently staffed and always on top of the job, without needing to take short cuts just to keep up with a fast-paced and dynamic marketing environment.

Now, staffing a data management department with qualified and experienced people? And acquiring all the right technology? It can be intimidating, expensive, and time-consuming. This is probably one of the most notable hurdles medium-sized organisations need to overcome, because they’re too big to keep going without data management resources but also too small for an entire department.

These organisations have the option to outsource part or all their requirements to a specialised data management company. They can process and manipulate your data and deliver when needed. The advantage to outsourcing is that there’s a data management company ready to perform regular data manipulations when needed.

It's time to stop cutting corners and killing business

Every business has different needs and yours is no exception. But underestimating the vitality of comprehensive data management is like cutting corners on your organisation’s safety mechanisms. It’s a risk that no-one in their right mind would take!

But for the sake of saving up on a few more dollars, other businesses choose to barrel down the tracks, underestimating how critical data integrity could be, only to find themselves derailed by the smallest oversight—and needing millions of dollars in repairs.

Remember, thriving in today’s cutthroat market isn’t about patching up after data disasters; it’s about being preemptive and making sure all the metaphorical data cogs in the business machine is working. From lead acquisition to conversion, every step is pivotal, and every detail counts.

So, whether you’re manoeuvring a startup or steering a conglomerate, make the cardinal choice: invest in data management that not only matches but anticipates your needs. Outsource, innovate, but above all, ensure your data management team is the heartbeat of your operations, not an afterthought.

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