DATABASE MARKETING – IN PLAIN ENGLISH
Give It To Me Stright: Ask any professional salesman or even a church leader and they will both tell you that to be successful you can’t treat every customer or potential customer with the same script/pitch or even personality. Also, I’m pretty sure we can all agree that the true “Mayberry” hometown feeling comes from the store clerk that calls you by name and asks you about your family. So, the top reason you should care about database marketing is that now more than ever before a competitor can provide this experience to your existing customers and potential customers if you are not willing to do so.
There is nothing stopping a 100-million-dollar company from knowing its customers and potential customers like the Mayberry store clerk, and as a small company, this could be the special ingredient you need to take on industry giants. If you read nothing more after this section, you should understand that there is a key difference between listening to data to spot symptoms vs. using data to customize a journey.
One more thing… brands that think this only applies to retailers are making a huge mistake. Database marketing is also extremely powerful for manufacturing brands, non-profits, and even government organizations.
Top 3 Takeaways on Database Marketing:
#3 Infrastructure: To keep this simple, and fun, all you need to understand about database marketing infrastructure is that we are trying to bake a tall layered cake for each customer or potential customer. It is important that the data layers for each customer align, or it is considered unstable data (AKA an ugly uneven layered cake). Sound simple enough?
First and foremost, to build a smarter infrastructure let’s start at the end result and what that will look like. Consider for a second you are reviewing a massive excel document where all your data for each customer is listed out in columns. What would happen if people (employees or customers) input data into this excel document by manually typing answers? What if you obtained data from questions that included and answer field for “Other”, or you collected data for basically the same question twice but with slightly different responses? The answer is a hot mess. By understanding just how important data continuity is in the beginning you can ensure a smarter data infrastructure.
Now, who in your company is helping us bake the cake, and what data are they contributing? Often we answer the “who” question by identifying data touch points such as customer service, sales team, eCommerce and website activity, events, training, surveys, product registrations, and even marketing campaigns. The “what” question usually starts with the person analyzing the data. What do we want to know so that we can profile and segment customers and analyze business growth? Investing in these questions up front will ensure you build a smarter customer relationship management (CRM) infrastructure that will support the company today and set up a competitive advantage for years to come.
#2 Clarity: Why does your marketing work, or better yet why doesn’t it work? Data clarity is understanding your audience to build smarter and more efficient campaigns, but it is also understanding the results of your actions.
The most common mistake a company makes is assuming that one advertising campaign is going to work for all customer types (aspirational, potential, existing, core, adjacent, and reach). This company creates social media content, purchases print ads, and sponsors programming with a blanket approach. Although this is a very traditional method of executing a marketing campaign it negates the obvious detail that not all customers are the same. You rarely speak to a male in his late 20’s the same way you do a male in his late 40’s. The outcome of this approach generally results in not accurately measuring the success of a campaign message or the advertising outlets purchased. Thus, the company can get in a cycle of chasing bad data.
When you invest in database marketing it helps provide clarity around what to say, to whom, and where to target specific customers. Furthermore, it also empowers you to properly measure outcomes. You may be surprised to learn how some advertising outlets are more valuable to your business than what you see on the surface.
#1 Integrated Marketing: The number one takeaway in this Lab is how database marketing powers integrated marketing. When you make database marketing a pillar in your business not only can you provide that one of a kind “Mayberry” hometown experience but you also harmonize communication channels and messaging to create a seamless experience. Using marketing automation software, your data can trigger customized communications, different content experiences, or retarget a customer when it is most likely for them to purchase. From manufacturers and retailers to non-profits and government organizations there are countless ways to automate and personalize the journeys you create from good data.