Database Marketing: It’s Easier Than You Think

Database MarketingOne of the biggest misconceptions about 1:1 (personalized) printing is that marketers don’t have the data to drive it. This might be true in some cases, but it also can be more perception than reality.

Often, marketers have more data than they realize. Maybe their data is not in great shape. Maybe they don’t know how to access it. Maybe the data preparation process seems too overwhelming. Whatever the reason, marketers can have trouble getting started.

The first step is understanding that finding, accessing and preparing your data are all worth the effort. In a What They Think Webinar, Barbara A. Pellow, group director for InfoTrends, observed:

The business market today is changing rapidly. Those who properly understand how, what and why customers make purchases, and those [marketers] who influence buying decisions with highly targeted marketing efforts, are those who will come out on top. . . The ultimate goal is to identify the best prospects and use strategic direct marketing campaigns to cross sell, upsell and resell.

Putting Data to Work

Pellow suggests three ways you can put your data to work right away:

  1. Resuscitate a dormant customer relationship. If a retail customer hasn’t ordered from you in a period of time, send him a personalized postcard with a coupon encouraging him to come back into the store.
  2. Proactively cross sell and upsell. If you are an auto dealer and know a customer’s lease is about to expire on a Toyota Corolla, send her a personalized brochure trying to upgrade her to a Toyota Camry.
  3. Create continuity of purchases through a loyalty program. If you are a local winery, before visitors leave following a facility tour, ask them to sign up for a wine club. Try to obtain birthdates and anniversaries of their family and friends so you can use the information to trigger personalized reminders for gifts for special occasions later.

Places Where Data Hides

Before you can leverage data, you have to find it. Where is your data hiding? In more places than you might think. Here are some places to start:

  • Transactional data (both brick-and-mortar and from the online store
  • Web contact forms
  • Customer care (found in your CRM system)
  • Business reply cards
  • SMS/cell phone marketing contacts
  • Responses to e-mail campaigns
  • Trade shows/events (get those “card swipe” responses back into your system after post-show follow-up)
  • Customer and prospect surveys

Any good database house can combine these elements into a comprehensive marketing tool. If you require additional data, you can append it with external sources, such as lists from Acxiom, Experian or InfoUSA to get a more holistic picture of your audience.

Need help with the process? Give us a call and ask!