Most marketing professionals understand the reasons for collecting good customer and prospect data and most also understand (in theory at least) what to do with that data.
However, one thing that never ceases to amaze me is the number of businesses that don’t get the best from their data. So for that reason, below are some basic tips for using and getting a return from what has the potential to be a huge asset – your database.
Keep it clean – There’s no point in collecting huge quantities of customer and prospect data if it isn’t regularly cleansed and updated. With customers moving around frequently and more and more people subscribing to TPS and MPS, you need to give your campaigns a fighting chance of success by starting with a clean and up-to-date database.
Unlock the intelligence – Most customer databases have a story to tell and can offer so much more than just a mailing list. Modern customer insight and data mining techniques can add real value and help drastically improve the success of marketing campaigns by targeting customers that are statistically more likely to buy your products.
Make it relevant – How many people have received marketing messages from a company that they have an existing relationship with but which are completely irrelevant to them? If you have transaction and sales information in your database (or you can prise it from your Accounts Dept.) then you’ll know what your customers buy, when they buy it and how likely they are to buy related products… Why not use this information to make your campaigns 100% relevant to your audience?
One size doesn’t fit all – If your message is relevant and timely then your campaign should succeed - right? Wrong! Make sure you give consideration to the communication medium, not all of your customers and prospects will respond (or welcome) traditional DM no matter how relevant the message. Today’s marketing professionals have a wide range of channels available to them from email, SMS and DRTV or even good, old fashioned, telemarketing. Trial and measure your campaigns across different mediums before rolling them out completely - different customer/prospect profiles will respond to different channels.
Learn from experience – So your data is clean, your message is relevant and the communication channels have been chosen, the campaign goes live and the results are encouraging, happy days! Well of course that’s good but the results of even the most successful campaign can tell a valuable story and inform your next campaign. One thing we always advocate is analysing the results of a campaign to understand factors such as which channel brought back the best response rate, what the profile(s) of the responders were and the time lag from message delivery to response. These factors (and more) will all help your next campaign to become even more focussed and help target the customers/prospects most likely to respond.
If you pay attention to this advice and ensure that your database continues to evolve and grow, then your marketing campaigns will have every chance of success. But we’re keen to hear your feedback and experience, what database marketing techniques have proved most successful for you?