Santa’s List and Data Elves


by Margery Murphy on December 18, 2013

Wow – here it is – mid December! Is your Christmas card list ready to go? Did you update Aunt Marge, who moved last July? Oh yeah, and Cousin Sue had a baby – what was that baby’s name? Are your gift mailing lists accurate? Your neighborhood cookie distribution list? I have lists upon lists! How about you? Keeping them all current is a huge job!


As I pondered this challenge, I decided to go to the List Guru – the King of all Lists – Yes – SANTA!

After several email attempts – and failed deliveries due to bad email addresses – (darn bad data), I was able to reach the North Pole. Santa informed me that it would be impossible to organize all of his information without the DATA ELVES. Yes, Santa has a dedicated team of data experts at the North Pole, DATA ELVES, who do nothing but the daily monitoring and updating of his lists. It is critical to have all of the required fields up to date and segmented by country, language, time zone, gender, naughty vs. nice and other specific requests! Can you only imagine if the naughty and nice list was not updated? Santa’s credibility would be at stake! His entire enterprise would be at risk! Clean, organized data is essential to his success!

I asked for more information about how he makes all of this work. The first step is to design a master database that contains all of the fields important to his contacts, as mentioned above. Then, of course, you have to be able to sort and refine. As the entire database is SO large, you are overwhelmed without the ability to sort. Be sure you have fields that meet your criteria and comment sections that allow for more than just 140 characters. Most importantly – be sure to make necessary updates. Your database is not STATIC – it is DYNAMIC!! It is always changing, so be sure to pay attention!

So, as you think about your lists and how you reach your clients, take a cue from Santa – get organized, segment data according to critical information and required searches and hire a Data Elf to keep it all in order. If not – your NICE customers may forget you and turn to a NAUGHTY competitor.

-Margery Murphy, President -- Acadia Lead Management Services


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