Who's That Masked DB Marketer in a Cape?!

  |  February 7, 2011   |  Comments

How will database marketers react to this new level of attention and embrace the need for a data-driven marketing approach?

Given the choice to lead or follow, which will you do? This is a very real decision for many database marketers today. Traditionally, these folks were the geeks of the marketing department. They kept to themselves, ran queries to answer questions posed by other strategists, and worked hard to keep the data clean and updated. Today, the database marketer is part of an emerging and essential marketing operations team that is driving a lot of the strategy. One marketer said to me recently, "Whoever knows the customers best gets to make the call." Well, I ask you, "Who knows the customer better than the people working with the data every day?" All of a sudden, database marketers are superheroes. Or at least have the opportunity to wear capes if they choose to accept the challenge.

There are two things driving this trend. One is customer habit. Given the ability and choice to interact with brands in many ways and across many channels, customers are taking full advantage. It's a "me"-centered consumption world where customer preference and whim create habits. At the same time, marketing automation technology is advancing and data integration is possible. So marketers can track and, more importantly, react to customer behavior in order to meet needs across channels.

What sorts of strategies require deeper, strategic database insight? Pretty much everything. The list would be shorter if we counted those marketing functions that don't benefit from data-driven decisions. Consider these important initiatives that have become imperatives for many CMOs today:

  1. Outlining personas representing key customer segments in order to profile audience types and improve communication messaging and cadence.
  2. Obtaining a 360-degree view of the customer. One B2C marketer told me this week that there are more than 25 ways that customers can interact with her brand - from a kiosk to a store counter to e-mail to mobile commerce to branded website to call center to social communities. Most customers participate in three or more of those channels. Communications can only be optimized if those habits and experiences are captured - and actionable - in the database.
  3. Responding to customer behavior in the channel where the interaction occurred. This also has to be aligned with self-selected preferences.
  4. Selecting the optimal channel for the next offer. A hotel owner uses past booking behavior to send last-minute alerts via SMS to those who have opted in and accessed the mobile commerce site. All others get the information via e-mail. Response has boosted overall by 8 percent.
  5. Testing and optimizing the mix of channels for lead nurturing campaigns. For a live seminar event, one B2B marketer paced the reminders and offers based on interaction with the previous e-mail campaigns. Those who did not respond got simple reminders on date, location, and keynotes. Those who did interact got more robust offers. Revenue from the offers increased 50 percent over the previous year - so that not just the response rate increased, but the revenue increased in real terms. Also, spam complaints dropped by 25 percent. This is surely because those who demonstrated a willingness to engage prior to the event were nurtured with offers that made sense to their actions, and the others were left alone.

I'm sure there are infinite variations of these opportunities. Perhaps you are testing some of them now. It will also be great to see how database marketers react to this new level of attention and interest from the C-suite. Will you embrace it and join the strategists, or will you run back to the corner and take orders?

How are you and your team embracing the need for a data-driven marketing approach? Please tell us in the comments area below.


ClickZ Live New York What's New for 2015?
You spoke, we listened! ClickZ Live New York (Mar 30-Apr 1) is back with a brand new streamlined agenda. Don't miss the latest digital marketing tips, tricks and tools that will make you re-think your strategy and revolutionize your marketing campaigns. Super Saver Rates are available now. Register today!


Stephanie Miller

Stephanie Miller is a partner with brand and marketing technology strategy firm TopRight Partners, which helps customers use the technology they have today to do the marketing they want to do today and tomorrow. She is a relentless customer advocate and a champion for marketers creating memorable customer experiences. A digital marketing and CRM expert, she helps sophisticated marketers balance the right mix of people, process, and technology to optimize a data-driven content marketing strategy. She speaks and writes regularly and leads several industry-wide initiatives. Feedback and column ideas most welcome, to smiller AT toprightpartners DOT com or @stephanieSAM.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Marketing newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!




Featured White Papers

Google My Business Listings Demystified

Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.

5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line

5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line
82 percent of shoppers say they would buy more items from a brand if the emails they sent were more personalized. This white paper offer five tactics that will personalize your email beyond the subject line and drive real business growth.


    Information currently unavailable


    • Lead Generation Specialist
      Lead Generation Specialist (The Oxford Club) - BaltimoreThe Oxford Club is seeking a talented writer/marketer to join our growing email lead-generation...
    • Health Marketing Editor
      Health Marketing Editor (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreCome flex your intellectual muscle as part of Agora, Inc’s (http://agora-inc.com/) legal team...
    • Technical Business Analyst
      Technical Business Analyst (OmniVista Health) - BaltimoreOmniVista Health is looking to add a Technical Business Analyst to our expanding team...