Whether you’re already onboard with database marketing as the driving force behind your direct marketing efforts, or you’ve decided you need to be, there’s always something that can improve your bottomline results. To help get the most from your valuable data let’s take a look at the three key strategies that should be a part of every marketer’s strategy; newbies and veterans alike.
Continually Grow Your Database
With the internet, direct mail and other marketing tools available like data appending there are almost limitless opportunities to capture new data about your existing contacts. Do it! Your database should be constantly expanding, and not just in the number of records but in the depth and breadth of the information included in each record. When it comes to data, err on the side of even too much is not enough.
Manage and Monitor
Data, like effective marketing, is in constant flux. People move, change jobs, get married or a host of other life changes. Put a process in place to consistently update your data regularly. Having a clear picture of your existing customers should drive your efforts to bring in new ones. Using inaccurate or outdated information to drive your marketing campaigns is a recipe for disaster.
If you’re managing your data you should have a pretty clear picture of what’s working, and what’s not. Rarely if ever is marketing absolutely perfect. Continually try different ways and means of contacting your customers and prospects based on earlier results. Tweaking the messages, timing of your contacts and data analysis should be an on-going step in your database marketing process.
The upsides of using data to drive your marketing campaigns are simply too substantial to ignore. Taking a strategic approach to data management will ensure the results justify your efforts.
Change isn’t necessarily easy. And for some, it can be downright hard. But a shift in mindset is in order. It’s simply not cost effective to approach marketing in the traditional manner anymore. Average response rates of 1% to 2% shouldn’t be acceptable, nor do they have to be.
You probably have multiple sources of information – Customers, prospects, other departments, third party data providers – you name it. First, integrate this disparate data into a cohesive, usable format. Information should be the basis of your marketing efforts, but it’s got to be easily accessible to be effective.
Now, segment the data into groups with similar characteristics and behaviors. Some detailed analysis will provide commonalities amongst your best (and worst) customers. Commonalities you can then use in your marketing efforts.
What’s In It for Me?
Using data to drive marketing will lead to response rates 3, 4 and even 5 times that of traditional campaigns because you’ll know who to target and what they really want. That translates to better ROI, a more efficient process and easier measurement of results.
Each successive targeted campaign will provide you with even more information for future efforts. What worked? What didn’t? What can be improved and what did you learn? Before long your data will be useful to the whole company, not just marketing.
Improve your retention rates, particularly for your most important customers. Your best customers share certain traits – maybe buying preferences, demographic or social behaviors. Knowing this will allow you to better serve this important group, and find others just like them.
Making the shift to a data-driven culture will take some work – most good things do. But the results will make you wonder why you didn’t do it years ago. Good question.