How Much Does Bad Data Cost Your Business?

I remember back in the day when I first started in recruitment and the problems bad data caused then.

It was the late 80’s and database management systems were pretty much in their infancy. The company I worked had a proprietary system written by the owner. Indeed, some of the functionality was quite advanced for the time…including and internal messaging system.

However, the one problem we had was keeping the data clean!

Who is Responsible?

It’s an interesting question to ask…who is responsible for a company’s data? Back in those dark days each Consultant was responsible for his or her own data (database). However this led to a whole host of data integrity problems.

Unscrupulous Consultants used to deliberately add duplicate records to try and snatch prime clients. Recruitment was a tough game and the threat often came from within your own company. This was the height of Yuppiedom and money was King. Everyoen in r recruitment did all they could to maximise their income.

Client Experience

Of course, this meant the client experience was often not so good with multiple people from the same company calling to try and get business. It’s no wonder Recruitment did not have the best of reputations in those days.

And many databases, even now, in 2022, have historic problems from poor practice in the past.

Problems can include duplicate records, duplicate contacts, incomplete addresses, wrong phone numbers, wrong contacts at the wrong address…the list is almost endless.

Help is At Hand

Thanksfully there are many companies nowadays who are able to provide a whoile host of services that can totally cleanse your data.

Using companies such as Marketing Data Fitness to ensure your marketing data is totally fit for purpose can provide huge increases in ROI.

Your sales team will save huge amounts of time and the client experience will be better for a start. They have a data clean up automated robot (called Dave). You simply send these Guys your data, they plug it in to Dave and he whirls away in the background de-duplicating, cleaning, munging, gap-filling and doing a complete data health check.

So, if your data is dirty and is costing you time and money, and getting your sales team totally frustrated, give them a shout.

They make sure data is clean on all the latest platforms like Salesforce, Dynamics, Hub Spot and SAP (for example). They can also port your data and augment it if required. And, as it’s automated it’s extremely cost effective – it’s got to be worth it!

eCommerce Is Changing

e-commerce key on a white keyboard closeup. E-commerce concept image.

It’s certainly true that the eCommerce landscape is changing rapidly as 2020 draws to a close. The move away from the high street to online shopping has been massively accelerated by the current COVID pandemic.

2020 has seen the total wealth of Jeff Bezos increase massively and he is now believed to be worth over $200 billion (source Business Insider). Of course, rumours abound that he has marginalised all the small businesses on FBA, and that may be true, but his success cannot be denied.

Why Is Amazon So Successful?

Well, part of it is the user journey is so simple. I was always taught K.I.S.S – keep it simple stupid.

Amazon’s search engine is super advanced and is brilliant at putting related items in front of you. I have used the feature many times to find new bands to listen to. I like music in quite a deep niche and Amazon has helped me find some absolute gems. Because of that I always buy my music on Amazon because I know two things.

Firstly, it’s easy and payment one click simple, and…

Secondly, I might well find some great new music to listen to.

They also have an excellent membership model. What? A membership model?

Yes, it’s called Prime and people pay for the privilege of being a member!

It’s true, they do provide a lot of very good content, although they also charge for plenty of it as well. But, the idea is it breeds and promotes brand loyalty.

If you talk to any Digital Marketer or Growth Hacker, they will tell you brand loyalty is the holy grail and the absolute best way to increase eCommerce sales through clean data.

The Best Make It Easy

If you look at the most successful sites on the Internet, they are all simple for the user. The user journey is simple and succinct, the user gets what they want quickly and easily. This is the key to increasing online sales.

Another super successful site is Google, it does one thing and does it very well indeed. And, because so many people use Google as their source of information Google can consequently charge large amounts of money for advertising space and real estate on it’s platform.

So, the message is clear, keep it simple, give the customer an easy journey through your website enabling them to get what they want quickly and efficiently.

Oh, and of course, you also need the best products! But that’s a whole different story, for another day.

Back Home

Latest Updates in Digital Marketing

We have been watching the changes in Google very carefully. For our money, we think SEO is now a dying trade. Yes, of course, you should still make sure you SEO and pages, blog posts, YouTube videos you publish, of course you should…but, if you look at the way Google presents the SERPS now, you’ll see the No.1 organic position is now below the “fold” on most screens.

The first thing that appears right at the top is between 2-4 ads. Obviously, this is a key position in the search engines. Our past research told us that those top three positions used to gain 65% of ALL clicks. However, Google seem to have ditched the “do no evil” thing and are now beholden to the slogan “make as much money as humanly possible”.

SERPS Devalued

In our opinion this does devalue the SERPS as whoever pays the most is No.1. So, all this bullshit about providing the best most relevant search results is just that…bullshit!

Underneath the ads there is now the map snack pack. Again, our experience tells us this local listing (qwhere relevant) does usurp a lot of traffic from the general organic listings. We had a situation where one of our SEO clients was at No.1 for a local keyword. Suddenly a three pack took over at the top and she lost 50% of her traffic (until we got her to No.1 in the local listings).

Just an aside, getting to No.1 in the local listings is a much longer process! Just for your information.

Then, finally, you get to the organic listings. I haven’t read any figures about the impact of these changes, but I am willing to bet that traffic from the SERPS is way down.

End In Sight?

Where will this end?

Well, that’s a good question. We noticved that the right hand column is now empty in the search results. Who thinks that maybe, sometime soon, we might see the left hand side of adfs and local and the oprganics on the right hand side? It’s a natural conclusion from what we are currently seeing. You heard it here first!

I’ll make a video about it 🙂

Digital Marketing Mentor Course

I’m on this course at the moment – Online Business Mastery. Here’s what some of the current students have to say about it.

That’s the business world. What about socially?

Social Life

I went to see La La Land on Friday. Great film and old style Holywood musical and I loved it. Of course, I was brouight up on the old style musicals, Showboat, West Side Story, The Sound of Music – my Mum and Dad were huge fans of the musical. I still love the songs today.

And, La La Land is is a very similar vein. The songs were catchy mixed in with some great jazz and amazing piano playing by Ryan Gosling.

Now, what I didn’t know until I did a bit of research after watching the film is that Ryan Gosling did all of the piano playing, dancing and singing himself. He’s a very talented chap.

However, what I found amazing was that, when he was offered the part, he couldn’t play a note on the piano, couldn’t dance or sing. He learned everything he needed to make the film in just FOUR months.

That is quite remarkable

However, it does go to show what you can do if you put your mind to it. So, if you are struggling to get a certain skill under your belt and are thinking of giving up…think about Ryan Gosling and be re-invigorated! If he can learn to play piano (without singing and dancing) like that in four months, think what you are capable of?

If you want to take the best Online Marketing Course then click this link. It’s a great way to learn digital markleting from the ground up.

It really is just a case of making a pact with yourself and getting stuck in with a never say die attitude.

It’s the same as bulding an online business. We are nothing special, we just never gave up! If we can do it, you can too!

This information came from Derek Armson Online Marketing.

And, talking of postive attitude…I read Rhinoceros (American sp) Success by Scott Alexander again this week. It’s only a short 122 pages with lots of pictures and pages with just 2 or 3 lines on them. But it is so much fun and is great for a massive injection of positive – CHARGE!

I laughed a lot and felt supercharged after reading it – it’s well worth an hour of your time.

That’s it for this week, I hope you found that useful, I know I did 🙂

Digital Marketing Deep Niche Recruitment

Recent advances in technology (wed’re talking the last fifteen years here), have allowed an explosion in eCommerce to happen. With online payment systems becoming more secure and consumer confidence growing online sales have skyrocketed into the billions.

We are also seeing the development of far more sophisticated monitoring and recording systems which in turn has resulted in huge advances in the effectiveness of digital marketing aimed at the consumer. This has also resulted in job functions becoming far more specialised as we now see a massive increase in the demand for specialists such as growth hackers, search engine marketing and online customer acquisition.

The customer online journey remains a key facet as well and again, tracking, monitoring and custom marketing to consumers all become more sophisticated and targeted by the say.

It’s a very interesting workld to move in and today I am talking to Doug Bates of Digital Marketing recruitment specialist Intelligent People. Intelligent People were formed in 2002 when Doug and co-owner and co-director Chris Mason broke away from a corporate recruiter to form the new company.

Before we talk about the market, I just wanted to ask Doug why he chose St Albans as the base for IP when so much of the activity goes on in London.

“Yes, interesting question”, he smiles, “it’s simple really. Chris and I both live in St Albans and we were finding the commute left us no qwuyality of life. So part of the remit of Intelligent People was that it should be more of a lifestyle business. We wanted that for ourselves so it’s something we also offer to our consultanst as well. It;s easy enough to egt up to Town for meetings if we need to, but it just means we don;t havce to waste three hours every day doing it. I get to see the wife and the dogs more often, that has to be good doesn’t it?”

I won’t argue as having a series of websites offers me the same quality of life.

So, let’s talk Digital and Online marketing. What do you see as the biggets trends on the staffing side of the market at the moment?

“One of the big ones you have already mentioned”, he says, “this increasing specialism in job functions is really gaining pace. For example, even two or three years ago, executive search in the digital markets was  rare. Now it is one of our biggest growth areas. I was reading the Balderton Capital report on the movement of labour across Europe and this is one of the highlight of the report”.

“We are also seeing an icreasing level of complexity in the vacancies we are recruiting for as the tools and techniques become more advanced. Take a look at the way Google works now compared to even five years ago. They now have Rankbrain (artificial intelligence) as part of the algorithm and it now updates live as opposed to by updates every three or six months. By the very nature of these changes, SEOs have had to adapt. The increasing sophistication of the algorithm means the search engine marketing jobs people simply must keep pace…or become obsolete”.

“But, these advances means changes in the skillset as well. Not only that we are seeing a huge move towards subscription servcies online, the residual income model, the holy grail for most companies. Sign up once, set and forget and the money continues to flow in”, he smiles at the thought, “we are seeing a lot of “tech” start ups in this area, and these Guys are extremely well funded, so they deamnd the best talent. They employ advanced systems from the start and are very hot in areas such as Product Management Jobs, Channel Strategy Jobs and  Analytics”.

What sort of products are they delivering.

“A lot of these new start ups are for app based for the shared economy”, he says “and to be honest, they are finding talent acquisition difficult. Yes they offer ownership as an incentive, but they do find it difficuylt to compete with the big eCommerce players like Amazon, for example on salaries and packages”.

“Again, the Balterton Capital report highlights the dearth of talent. Howerver, this is supplemented by the movement of labour and no matter what anti-Bexiteers might say, this report clearly shows London is a major hub for this sort of technological business. I believe that will continue regardless of Brexit”.

A positive note to end on Doug?

“I do get more than a little agitated by people constantly talking U.K Plc down, we have a great economy and it will flourish, becausde we have the skills and the technological base in this country”.

Thanks Doug, you can find Intelligent People Digital Recruitment by clicking the link.

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Services Sector Overview

Hi, my name is Charlotte and welcome to my site API, all about the services industry in the U.K

There is no doubt since the “Maggie Revolution” which started in 1979, the servcies sector has become more and more important for the United Kingdom economy.

Defying The Doom Merchants

Even the the third quarter of 2016 defied all of the doom and gloom merchants with the sector showing a 0.7% growth rate. But over the last 35 years the rise and rise of the servcies sector has been nothing short of spectacular.

The first step was major deregulation. I remember being in at the start of the recruitment boom in the mid 1980’s. Yes, it was a bit of a bun fight, but the growth was stunning as recruitment companies went from nowhere to £30 million turnover in just a few months.

U.K’s Major Sector

Figures from 2015 show the services sector in the U.K dwarfing construction, manufacturing (which has been in the doldrums pretty much since Maggie changed tack) and agriculture (and of course mining). It dominates the U.K economy. Now that figure does include software, which could be argued to be a sort of manufacturing and is a sector I think should now be singled out on its own. The U.K is a major hub for technology and innovation and I think that should be recognised and identified separatekly as it is also a vital sector for U.K plc these days.

Coming Home

And, it’s interesting that we are now seeing many call centres come back to the U.K. I think comopanies such as BT faced such a back lash in outsourcing to places like India, that when costs out there started to rise (as they inevitably would), they came back home, in droves from what I can make out. I do think this is better for customer service to be fair, but I also think service centre telephone menu systems should be far easier to navigate through.

A quick “heads up” though, often hitting the * button at the first menu gets you straight throuigh to an operator…you dind’t hear that here though 🙂

Anything that helps in this direction is good by me after i spent 10 minute sjust getting through the menu at Barclays…it was one of their operatives that told me – fair play to him.

Anyway, I digress.

Vital For G.B Plc

So, there is no doubt that the services sector is vital to Great Britain. And, on this site, it is my aim to bring you the latest news from the services sector. I’d like to try and focus on good news stories. Examples of successful businesses, new techniques and new service offerings. Also news from specific markets and deeper niches within markets.

I’ll be delving into digital marketing and the weay technology is driving the services sector and I hope you will find my research and inisghts useful.

And, finally, if you have a story you think fits the bill as outlined here, then please feel free to get in touch and let me know your story. It it fits, I’ll publish it.

Many thanks

Charlotte Carr