With automation being the on the top of B2B marketer’s must-have list, some companies may want to consider database marketing as a first step. We use MS Access, (comes with MS Office Professional edition), as a tool to explore data for the purpose of gaining greater marketing insights. For small business with significant volumes of customer and transaction data, having the tools to explore and analze your data can yield significant improvements in the effectiveness of specific marketing tactics.
Below are 5ways you can use database tools for marketing.
#1 – Improve Accuracy of Promotional Campaign Planning
Analyze historical sales data and use the information to make better predictions about campaign outcomes. With repitition of this exercise the accuracy of predictions will improve and lead to more accurate planning.
#2- Provide Sales Reps with Timely, Accurate Data
Provide your sales team with concise sales-tracking reports during a promotion. By pushing snippets of valuable information to your sales team at appropriate intervals during and at the end of a promotion, they are armed with the knowledge they need and focus their efforts on selling.
#3 – Customer Segmentation and Profiling
Because data that resides in the database is relational (multiple tables each containing records of data which are ‘related’ to each other), it allows for the extraction of data from multiple source tables using a single query to filter out unwanted records. The ability to extract data based on multiple criteria avoids the problem of multiple listings for a single customer – a typical result if using Excel for this exercise.
Initial segmentation will be limited to the data contained in your customer records, but marketing information can be added to the database to allow more finite filters to be applied. Segmentation data could include; geographic location, business size, industry sector, reseller channel, purchase volume, industry code SIC/NAICS, group membership (e.g. buying groups, industry associations), program participation (e.g. co-op advertising, rebate, loyalty), etc.
#4 – Profile Profitable Customers
Profile your customers and segment them into groups based on their contribution to your bottom line. Start with 3 groups: not profitable, somewhat profitable, highly profitable. Analyze the characteristics of the two profitable groups and use this information to develop a group profile. Focus your lead generation efforts on attracting companies that match these 2 profiles and reduce or eliminate marketing efforts directed at the unprofitable group.
#5 – Develop Reports for Delivery of Timely, Accurate Information
Start by creating a few standardized reports, once built, these reports can be cloned and popluated with data using a query. To update with new or refreshed data, replace the report record source with a new source query. The new data will flow into the report automatically without the need to re-create the entire report.
We have been using database tools for marketing since 1996. Building a marketing database does take some time, effort, and skill, but for small businesses that aren’t quite ready for sophisticated marketing automation solutions, marketing effectivenss can be dramatically improved by harnessing the power of a database. Learn more about our database marketing services.
Roadmap to Building a Database
Building a database is a process that begins by addressing a business issue and then developing a business case to demonstrate that database implementation will benefit your business. It requires buy-in from senior management and agreement by various departments and stakeholders on firm objectives. There must be agreement on the deliverables and how those deliverables will be measured. By creating a critical path and a detailed plan, you will visualize how processes will work and minimize any development omissions that might occur otherwise.” More (source: Canadian Marketing Association www.the-cma-org )