In a world filled with companies vying for consumer attention, many marketing agencies advise that making more noise is an efficient strategy.

Think about how many dealerships handle customers who have expressed interest in a vehicle. Many stores use templates and strategies designed to bombard consumers for the first week or so with a flow of phone calls and e-mails hoping to beat competitors to the punch.

But the messages they are delivering often contain no useful information.

To achieve digital-marketing success, a business must send relevant and targeted messages to groups of people most likely to be interested in the offer. To do that, a dealership needs to take advantage of its database, analyze the contents and drill down to the customers who are most likely to convert.

But as we work with clients, we see databases so mired in useless or outdated information that using it in a raw format to market wastes money.

Duplicated records are being created at many touch points, such as sales, service and parts. People move. Their phone numbers change. They change employers, something that could affect their e-mail addresses. Perhaps a husband and wife both are on record with the same contact information. Many vendors, however, simply take a list and send a message, whether it’s via e-mail or direct mail, to the contact information provided.

In many cases it never reaches the customers. Or it could annoy them by delivering the same message multiple times.

Many dealerships employ policies of non-duplication and collecting full and complete information from customers, but not many enforce it. They rely on their customer-relationship management systems to catch the duplication and prevent it. It’s too easy, however, for a salesperson to bypass this duplication by simply entering different information, whether it’s intentional or not. Multiple customer IDs for the same person in a dealership-management system are not uncommon. There are many ways duplicated or erroneous information can be introduced into a dealer’s database, yet there isn’t typically anybody at the dealership with the time and skillset to analyze and prevent this.

Whether you do your own digital marketing or partner with a vendor, it’s imperative that the information you use is accurate.

Make sure CRMs are current with the most up-to-date information possible. Doing this will reduce marketing expenses and increase sales-conversion rates.

In our 15 years of consulting, we’ve stressed the importance of data cleansing and hygiene.

We’re seeing changes as younger generations begin to take the reins at many dealerships. Many of these new leaders recognize the importance of digital marketing. Yet, they should know it’s only as strong as the foundation it is built upon.

Misti Miller is vice president-national accounts for J&L Marketing. She oversees activities as they relate to OEM relationships as a preferred vendor with BMW, GM, Mercedes-Benz and MINI.