A company database is an important tool to an organization that is looking to grow their business. Database marketing is a form of direct marketing using databases of customers or potential customers to generate personalized communications in order to promote a product or service for marketing purposes. The method of communication can be any addressable medium, as in direct marketing.The biggest advantage of database marketing is that marketing materials can be personalized for the target audience. For B to B companies, segmenting can consist of targeting companies based on annual sales volumes, buying behavior, lead source, etc. Personalization makes the customer feel that the company cares about them and in return will build customer loyalty. B to C companies can segment by household income, gender, geographic location, previous purchases, etc.
The most valuable asset a company has is their customer list! Then why are there some organizations out there that don’t have one? You know who you are……Companies need to remember not to take advantage of a good thing and use database marketing wisely. The following tips will help marketers improve their database marketing techniques:
The Do’s of Database Marketing……
- Database Maintenance – List hygiene is crucial to a successful database marketing program. Customer and prospect information needs to be updated on a daily basis. This includes address changes, phone number changes, and other pertinent information. Do hire an internal resource to manage this effort.
- Customer & Prospect Lists – Be able to code your customers differently than your prospects. Each record should have a source code field with information on where the lead was generated from. An example would be a trade show or direct mail campaign.
- Database Software – Do research various software programs and make sure it has the right features to keep your data organized. All marketing and sales teams should have training on the program and be able to add data and pull reports when needed.
- Campaign Tracking/ROI Tracking – Do make sure your database has a field for ROI and if the deal closed. So important to marketers to know if a deal closed due to a marketing campaign and the dollar value.
The Don’ts of Database Marketing
- Don’t keep your leads on your desk! Make sure you have someone in the organization that inputs leads into the company database program consistently. Have a dedicated resource internally to handle this.
- Don’t take advantage and send your customers and prospects a million emails a week. Only send information that they will find useful. You don’t want to tick off your valuable customers!
- Don’t end up having a great database….without a database marketing strategy in place. An integrated marketing plan should be in place that consists of monthly email and direct mail campaigns.
Now is the time to get your database in place for 2012 and keep it organized! Don’t let another minute go by without putting a database marketing strategy in place!
About Monique Merhige
Infusion Direct Marketing's founder Monique Merhige has over 15 years of marketing communications experience with technology companies ranging from small service firms and equipment manufacturers to a 1.5 Billion dollar division of Motorola. Monique is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Dowling College in Oakdale and Brookhaven. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Marketing and an MBA in General Management.