Four Ways To Sweat Your Database For Better Returns

Most companies keep records of their customers, but few use the data properly. With a little time and effort you can turn all that information into efficient, targeted selling.

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Most companies keep records of their customers, but few use the data properly. With a little time and effort you can turn all that information into efficient, targeted selling.


Four Ways To Sweat Your Database For Better Returns

Most companies keep records of their customers, but few use the data properly. With a little time and effort you can turn all that information into efficient, targeted selling.

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How many times have you heard a company boast about their database? A large database of contacts bought or obtained over time is an asset but only when adequately kept up to date and targeted with relevant marketing.

Data driven marketing, is exactly as it says; marketing driven by your audience. It could not be simpler and yet so many businesses get it wrong and forget to use their database’s information to their advantage.

Firstly, I’m going to explain what data driven marketing is, and then I’m going to share 4 ways to make the most out of your database and how you can use it to steer your marketing plans.

What is data driven marketing?

Simply put, data-driven marketing is marketing that arises from analysis of your consumer data.

You can now gather primary data, like email or job titles, easily via direct call or online surveys about consumers in your target audience. You can add secondary data to this, which is collected by tracking social interactions online, analysing web history, and looking at the search patterns of your consumers.

By having data rich information about your consumers you can steer your marketing to match their wants and needs. For example; you can ask consumers if they prefer discounts or 2-for-1 offers. You may find the likes and dislikes vary by location, age or gender and therefore you can segment your audience and other them your product or service as they want in a way that is easy to sell to them.

So how do you get your database marketing ready? Follow these tips:

1. Keep it clean

Regardless of company size it is a mean feat to look after your database and it is everyone’s responsibility. An out of date contact name or business title can impact on your credibility. Sending a direct mail to a deceased contact or greeting the email recipient by the wrong name can be disastrous.

There are numerous means of cleaning your database but remember this is a never ending task and needs continually updating to be effective. Choices are to employ a database cleanser or assign the task to a set member of staff but this can be costly and time consuming for large databases.

The second option is giving customers the option to update their info, when you make contact via email, a web visit or face to face; ask for the information to be checked and updated. Send an email circular asking for the blanks like job title or direct line to be completed.

Fresh and up to date information is the lifeblood of marketing. Make it easy for your customers to supply up to date info via online forms, cross check postal addresses and other details between departments like accounts and sales.

2. Do you know who you are talking to?

A growing business with a booming database cannot possibly keep on top of every customer or prospects latest developments, it’s impossible. Some companies may change their sales team, steer their sales towards another product or market sector, be cutting back on staff or investing in new locations.

Your database can hold all this information. Consider adding fields into your database that are important to the future of the business, in other words is the contact a prospect or customer publicly owned or privately owned, multi or single site, size of turnover and no of employees. It will all help you make decisions on how to approach and market to your contact in the long run.

A small, single site, independent with a team of less than 10 employees may have one sole decision maker and a quick decision process where as a publically owned, large, multi-site organisation may have a strict and long decision process.

Ask yourself if your database currently provides you with all the information you require to sell to that contact, does it give you enough information to make decisions on what they would want, their requirements, needs, spend and future business opportunities.

data representation

Crunching the numbers properly takes effort, but the results are always impressive

3. Complete the circle

With data driven marketing you have the ability to hit the right person, with the right product, at the right time, for the right price – giving you the right result. You can go one step better in defining that potential point of sale moment by using call tracking software.

Using call tracking software you can track your customers journey through the sales funnel. The software works by assigning a unique number to every IP user visiting your site. When the visitor to the website calls that unique number it will track the channel source, if they have been in touch before and what the outcome of that interaction was.

Call tracking can be applied to printed media as well. You may want to track the response from material handed out at an event or the success of an advertisement seen in one location.

The companies using conversion analytics from telephone tracking technology see a greater increase in closed sales, and that’s because they have been able to attach more information to their database.

For example, prospects who may have called more than once, asked about particular pricing or product questions, can then be segmented and sent offers that may close the deal. Getting that money off coupon when you have been contemplating that big purchase is perfect timing.

4. Point and fire

Once you have filled you database with all the relevant information you can take aim, fire and win some sales!

Dividing your prospects and customers into clusters is a clever data marketing tactic. You can segment contacts based on company size or requirements then segment further into stages in the sales funnel. You can then arrange the database so you send targeted marketing to each contact.

An email explaining your company’s core products and services may not appeal to a current customer or a business close to the sales completion cycle, they would benefit from a special offer or promotion that will promote an action (a sale).

A good example of this is the online fashion retailer ASOS. Once signed up to their website for updates, news or purchases they send a welcome email with a call to action that tends to be a discount or free shipping and returns.

They will follow this by emailing across a reminder of any items I have left in my shopping basket or have viewed online, promoting me to buy by telling me it’s the last chance to get this limited stock. They go one step further and email me at opportunistic times like my birthday, Christmas or summer when they know I will be looking treat myself or have events or holidays to go to.

These database tips can help you build a solid and up to date list of customers and prospects with a clear idea of what each of them wants. Data driven marketing is listening to your database and giving them what they need. This type of marketing gets greater results and more content customers.

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Four Ways To Sweat Your Database For Better Returns

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