Making your database work for you

All too often, business owners fail to recognise the marketing value of their database. It can be a lot more than a glorified Rolodex to simply reference customer information. It’s much more than that and can be an invaluable source for all of your marketing communications. It can be used for so much more, including; marketing emails, lead generation, customer retention, press releases, and the list goes on and on.

But before using this treasure trove of information, it’s essential to consider a few things, including data quality, data entry processes, and what information is most important to capture.

Accurately using a marketing database helps you to:

  • Prioritize your most prized accounts and clients first
  • Have real-time insights into your customers’ decision-making process
  • Make detailed customer segments to drive higher conversions
  • Track customer behavior and helps to highlight buying patterns
  • Improve your services or product by utilizing customer feedback
  • Increase brand awareness with your target audiences

A few things should be considered when looking to use your customer database for marketing purposes.

  • Accurateness: whatever data is being input needs to be exact.
  • Relevance: the information needs to meet the requirements for its intended use.
  • Completeness: the data should not have missing values or records/gaps.
  • Timeliness: the data should be very up-to-date (2-3 years old, max).
  • Consistency: the data should have the same data format across the board

So, how do you keep a marketing database up-to-date and clean with all of this in mind?

Conduct Annual Database Health Checks

To keep your marketing database(s) running at optimal levels, it’s essential to do regular tests and evaluations. But, in the everyday hustle and bustle of running a business, regular database assessments often get overlooked, or companies find themselves without the tools or knowledge to perform a proper quality assessment. That’s why it’s crucial to get a professional evaluation of your database systems, focused on performance, reliability, availability, security, and other factors. It can seem like a very daunting task, but it’s critical to ensure data quality is always at its best.

Build it Out

The process of collecting data from a variety of sources and consolidating it into a very useful reservoir of information, and bridging the gap between what users want and the available data can be a very daunting task. Not only do you need to consider when and how information is gathered and updated, but also your demands on the technical system, the critical architecture, the amount of historical data kept, and much more.

Ongoing Maintenance

A marketing consultant means much more than simply giving you advice and pointing you in the right direction; it’s also about helping you hands-on with projects and tasks that you don’t have the time to maintain yourself. That said, all marketing databases need consistent updating, cleaning, and overall maintenance, especially when they are being utilized to run marketing campaigns targeting existing clients. Whatever you decide to use to maintain your database must be consistently maintained and spot-checked your entire marketing database regularly to ensure that it never slides into disarray again.

Remember, when it comes to databases, it’s “garbage in, garbage out,” and vice versa.

  • Get to where you want your client database to be in terms of accuracy, growth, and marketing utilization. And you’ll discover how powerful a marketing tool your database can really be.