Database marketing: the devil is in the detail

Direct marketing campaigns can be used for a variety of initiatives such as increasing market share, product/service launches or re-introductions, building brand awareness, geographic expansions, etc.

The linchpin
While a lot of time and energy may be spent preparing a direct marketing campaign, all too often little or no thought is put into the list. Yes, the list, your database—that very important file containing information about your customers and prospects.

You may have one database that has names of everyone or you may be maintaining multiple files, segmenting your audiences; it doesn’t matter. It also doesn’t matter what software you use as long as you can pull the needed information out of it.

Database imperatives
Your database must:
1) be kept up to date, because a  list of contacts can change several percentage points per month due to people leaving or moving into other positions
2) contain complete information e.g., SIC codes, names, titles, email and postal addresses, history of interaction, etc.

For your sales and marketing team to be most effective, comprehensive customer/prospect data is paramount. The following is an example of the information necessary for an actionable database:

  • Company name
  • City
  • State
  • Zip
  • Country
  • Industry
  • SIC code
  • Contact name
  • Decision maker (yes/no)
  • Title
  • Telephone number
  • Email
  • Product/service purchased
  • Annual sales
  • Profit
  • Date of first contact
  • Date of last purchase
  • Sales channel (in-house, rep, distributor, dealer)
  • Other relevant information

You can customize your data entries to capture the information you need and while your options are limitless, you need to focus on the ones that can help move the sales cycle forward.

Get it right
Missing information or incorrect entries may result in slow sales cycles or even worse, lost sales! For each marketing initiative you implement, one of your goals should be to connect with the right people, in the right company, at the right time, with the right offer. Attention to detail is critical in database marketing.

When marketing and sales have clearly defined what constitutes a qualified lead (budget, authority, need, timing, etc.), marketing needs to create a plan to constantly put the brand in front of the target market while it is sales’ responsibility to follow-up and engage leads in a timely manner.

Keep it current
By ‘current,’ we mean a database that is updated on a continual basis. At the very least, database cleansing should happen as the campaign is being developed.

When preparing a new campaign, an assessment must be made to determine if your list includes the segment you want to reach. Database review should start as soon as you know the profile of your target audience.

Profile thy customer/prospect
An complete customer/prospect profile will provide your team with an intimate understanding of your market. This is essential in business-to-business marketing.

Developing and maintaining a database is far from easy task that’s why Borns developed a smart database marketing process. Call Sonda Panici Bondy at 616.842.1666 extension 28 or email sonda@borns.com so we can learn about your marketing objectives.

 

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