For most organizations, database management is not at the top of the priority list. In fact, the most common concern we hear from clients is “Our database is a mess!” This is usually due to a shortage of time and resources to maintain, or it’s an inherited database that can be difficult to work with. However, it is important for all organizations to understand and appreciate that their customer/donor database is essential to the effectiveness of their sales and marketing strategies.
So what exactly is data-driven (or database) marketing? It is the utilization of information from an organization’s database to provide various marketing options such as targeting specific audiences and incorporating personalized messaging. A targeted marketing strategy helps improve profitability and efficiency because it provides the ability to allocate marketing resources to prime audiences instead of to an entire database. Targeting the best of your audience eliminates the risk of spending money and time on segments that will not generate an adequate return.
The more data you can collect about your customers or donors, the better! Knowing your customers preferences, behaviors, and demographics will allow you to design relevant messaging for them that will capture their attention. This information can be collected through a myriad of ways. Surveys, analyzing purchasing history, social media, or other sources of public data are all great mediums for gathering customer information. As an example, do you only want to market to your customers that have vehicles older than 5 years? No problem! An integrated campaign allows you to use an appealing call-to-action to entice your customers to fill out a survey that asks about the age of their vehicles. Once the information is collected, it can be stored in your database and then utilized when you have interest-specific offers.
Keeping your messaging relevant to customers helps ensure that they will stay engaged. For example, sending out a mailing asking for donations to help rescue dogs to people you know are dog lovers will be more successful than sending that same mailing out to people who show a preference to felines. Marketing to an audience whose interests are not relevant to your message increases your risk of alienating them and certainly won’t help you obtain good response rates. Targeting your key audience helps to ensure that you are getting the best possible value out of your investment while maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship with all of your customers.
A lack of information in your database may be discouraging but don’t doubt its effectiveness just yet. Integrated marketing campaigns are developed with multiple objectives in mind. While your primary objective may be to get as many sales as possible, your secondary objective will be focused on collecting information about your customers in the process. Information such as email addresses and personal preferences allows you to improve the messaging of future campaigns and develop automated, drip-marketing strategies.
Building an organized and comprehensive database won’t happen overnight. Collection of data is worthwhile, but it can be time consuming without the right piece of software or resources. R.C. Brayshaw & Company recognizes that database management can be a daunting task and we are delighted to offer database management solutions to all of our customers. We understand the strain that database marketing can put on organization’s internal resources and we appreciate how valuable the data collected from marketing campaigns is to your success. Call us today, and let us help you develop your database to improve both your marketing efforts and the relationship you have with your existing customers.