Getting your data in order...

Customers are the lifeblood of most businesses – agreed?  However, when it comes to customer management and management of information to those all important customers, many businesses fall short of smooth communications. In fact, UK businesses waste in excess of £75 million each year mailing companies and individuals whose details have changed.  Not only does this hit companies in hard cash  but ineffective database management leads to negative brand image too; for example, if a customer is deceased, yet is still receiving four mailings a year – even once the aggrieved family have communicated their sad loss, then this can build a negative image.  And what about incorrect spelling of names, or a simple Mr instead of a Mrs – oops – doesn’t look great does it.

And in the age of email communications – sending emails to email addresses that are broken, incorrect and simply bounce, can get you into all sorts of issues with deliverability*  (*more on that in future posts).

Your database is far more than an electronic ‘filing cabinet’ holding all your customer’s details.  It’s the platform for all your marketing activity enabling you to communicate with customers, efficiently, speedily and in a targeted way. 

An accurate and well loaded database is a valuable resource.  It’s essential for effective marketing campaigns.  It is important that your database is flexible too - making it easy to segment and target marketing activity, tracking the success of promotions and as much as possible, behaving as a ‘customer relationship management’ tool.    By categorising your customers, you are able to target different segments, where you identify different needs, giving your customer the perception that you have gained a good understanding of their needs, and are dealing with them as individuals – rather than as part of a bulk mailing.

So think about how you structure your database, how you are going to segment your customers, so that you can easily select specific groups.  There are some sophisticated marketing databases out there - but the key is information - with a database you can only get out, what you put in.  Recommendations for fields in my; Is your database up to scratch post.

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