Technology is bringing the use of database marketing to the forefront and having a strong database marketing strategy is key. But many marketers still are unsure what exactly database marketing is. Put simply, database marketing is a systematic method used to gather, consolidate and process customer data. While the use of customer data to guide marketing strategies is nothing new database marketing takes those methodologies to a different level. Database marketing gathers more data and uses that data in more advanced ways than traditional marketing strategies.
How To Design A Database Marketing Strategy
Creating a database marketing strategy begins with determining your needs and what you want to know. This step should occur before you begin the design of the database. The marketing team should isolate what is the most useful information to know to achieve their marketing goals. The design of the database needs to be setup to capture that data in the most efficient way. It is important to understand the difference between data that would be good to know but is not essential and the data which needs to be collected.
The database marketing team will then begin to compile customer information from internal sources. This could be email submissions for more information, catalogue enquiries, leads from trade shows and lead generation efforts.
When developing a database that is best to start small sample of data, test and then improve on the design. This will help to avoid the collection of a large amount of data for the database which is not relevant or helpful for the overall marketing strategy.
Advantages Of Database Marketing
Database marketing provides a more targeted approach to marketing. This approach refines the audience to whom the marketing message is aimed at and improves the quality of the communication. Implementing a database marketing approach takes a considerable commitment of time and resources. A useful database is not something that can be set up overnight and so requires buy-in from the marketing, sales and front line teams. It must also be supported by management of the organization if it is to be successful.
However, this investment of time and money will directly impact profitability of the businesses marketing strategies. By targeting a more specific audience it can avoid wastage, increase efficiency and widen profit margins. In addition to a reducing wastage the other major advantage, database marketing should lead to an increase sales and to tap into new markets. Database marketing helps to identify markets that the business may currently be unaware of or not taking advantage to the full extent possible.
Another key benefit of database marketing is the ability to match communications with your customers profile. By ensuring that communications with your customer more closely match what they have stated they want and need, response rates can be increased.
Finally the collection of data into a customer database is useful for product development. The insights that are gained from information gathering can be implemented into the development of the product. Additional features and functionality that the customer desires can be incorporated into future releases of the product.
In order for database marketing to be successful there must be involvement across the organisation and from management itself. Collecting data which will be useful as a rigorous and demanding process. Without commitment from the organisation at all levels the full benefits of database marketing will not be realized.