MarketingData-Driven MarketingPutting Your Database to Work By Improving the Quality

Putting Your Database to Work By Improving the Quality

Deciding on six pieces of information you'd like to have about each person is a good way to start getting your database to the next level, something many marketers desperately need to do.

In my role, I meet with way too many marketing teams who are challenged with a rather sad database. Not sad in terms of numbers, but in terms of quality. Many marketing departments have hundreds of thousands – or even millions – of records stored in their digital marketing platform.

For this article, we aren’t going to discuss the number of inactive records in your system – we can save that topic for another time. To turn your database frowns upside down, I’m going to outline the how you can increase the number of meaningful information fields that you can have about each record. For many marketers, the information in your database may only be a person’s name while others may also include a physical mailing address and an email address.

This is simply not enough to begin having a meaningful digital interactions with anyone. As a marketer, you’re simply backed into a corner where all you can do is blast your contacts with static emails that will soon be ignored. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Below, I discuss some ways to improve the quality of your database.

Decide on Six

Start the process by thinking about six pieces of information you would like to know about every person in your database, beyond just a physical address. For example, if you sell golf equipment, valuable pieces of information include an individual’s handicap, how often they play, if they belong to a club, if they play with hybrid clubs, how old their clubs are and the weakest part of their game. Now, as a marketer holding the answers to these questions, you can completely personalize emails and even each individual’s website experience by providing all kinds of helpful relationship building content and product offers. Almost instantly you are adding value to every customer relationship, helping them improve their golf game and get more enjoyment out of the sport. At this point, selling becomes much easier.

Of course, this is just one example, but think about the six things you’d like to know and how you would put the answers to your six questions to use in order to customize your marketing.

Collect Your Six

Once you have decided upon your six questions, it’s time to put a plan in place to get the answers. Here are a few options:

  • Email a Survey Request: The most obvious way to collect the information you need is to create a survey and email it out to your database, hoping for a good response. Chances are you will get some responses, but most marketers probably won’t get nearly enough to really make an impact on their marketing efforts.
  • Install a Pop-over Window: For many marketers, pop-overs on the company website homepage can be a very effective means of collecting valuable information. Consider giving Web visitors an incentive, such as a weekly drawing for a gift certificate. Be mindful to limit the amount of information you ask for beyond the six questions to just the essentials like email address and first name.
  • Use Progressive Profiling: With progressive profiling, marketers can pose new questions each time a contact visits their website or landing page, steadily gaining deeper insight into each individual customer’s interests. This allows marketers to steadily gain all of the information necessary to customize the digital experience for each customer without overwhelming them with an abundance of questions at the beginning of their relationship.
  • Collect Via Point of Sale: Instead of the ubiquitous question about zip code, train in-store employees to collect customer email addresses and the answers to a few of the six questions. Also be sure to incorporate a customer’s in-store purchase history into their online experience. The role of the brick-and-mortar store has moved beyond just selling goods in the store, and has evolved to include the overall customer experience – both on and offline.
  • Train Call Center Reps: Integrating your call center with your digital marketing platform is a long overdue initiative for most companies. There are so many blockbuster benefits of doing this that it should be a high priority for a lot of companies. Once the integration is in place, call center reps can easily ask a few, or all, of the six questions and record each customer’s answers in their system, which will automatically be reflected back to your marketing database. There are a handful of companies that specialize in this process specifically, so although this initiative may require additional budget, the long-term benefits will far exceed the one-time cost.
  • Leverage the Prospecting Process: If you integrate your digital database to your CRM system, then collecting the answers is merely a matter of training your inside and outside reps to ask the questions. Once they understand how much more effective the website, emails and other marketing campaigns will be, they’ll be anxious to get this information into the system.

These are just a few ideas. I’m confident you can come up with several more ways to get this information in your database in a way that is most effective for your business. Once you have these pieces of information, you must put the great data to use. Imagine the possibilities: Dynamically driven emails where each message is tailored to a customer’s particular responses; linking a digital marketing platform with the website content management system (CMS) to tailor every individual’s Web experience or letting the data points guide company writers to produce thought leadership that is far more helpful than bland product-centric content.

Collecting data beyond name, address and email will take some time, but there can be huge payoff in your marketing effectiveness. If you’ve successfully gathered unique data points that have positively impacted your marketing efforts, please comment below.


US Mobile Streaming Behavior

Whitepaper | Mobile US Mobile Streaming Behavior

Winning the Data Game: Digital Analytics Tactics for Media Groups

Whitepaper | Actionable Analysis Winning the Data Game: Digital Analytics Tactics for Media Groups

Giving a Voice to Your Brand

Whitepaper | AI Giving a Voice to Your Brand

Mobile Messaging Masters

Whitepaper | Mobile Mobile Messaging Masters


Related Articles

How SK-II blends ecommerce and social for improved brand perception

Asia How SK-II blends ecommerce and social for improved brand perception

3y Sophie Loras
Keeping the right balance of "person" in "personalization"

Data-Driven Marketing Keeping the right balance of "person" in "personalization"

3y Mike O'Brien
Five of the most exciting digital innovations in grocery retail

Data-Driven Marketing Five of the most exciting digital innovations in grocery retail

3y Dev Mehta
What’s in a name? (…not much)

Data-Driven Marketing What’s in a name? (…not much)

3y Aidan Cardella
Eight predictions about the future of big data

Data-Driven Marketing Eight predictions about the future of big data

3y Benjamin Spiegel
How The Container Store used data to build its loyalty program

Conference Coverage How The Container Store used data to build its loyalty program

3y Mike O'Brien
A coming of age for first-party data

Data-Driven Marketing A coming of age for first-party data

3y Jay Marwaha
Why touchpoint data is invaluable to your CRM and driving sales

Data-Driven Marketing Why touchpoint data is invaluable to your CRM and driving sales

3y Jeanne Jennings