Is your database up to scratch?

If you were set the task of mailing all of your customers to advise them of, let’s say, a seminar you were running – how simple a task would that be? Ideally, it shouldn’t be a problem at all – because you would hold your entire customer’s contact information and their preference as to how they want you to communicate with them (email or mail).  The pulling of the distribution list together should be simple – put the mailer together, merge with your customer base and press print or send.  The real effort should be focused on getting the seminar together and creating the marketing campaign. 

However, for many businesses, communicating with customers just isn’t that simple. 

In many businesses there are a number of ‘databases’ relating to different products or services.  Therefore, the total customer base is spread across different platforms and often fragmented – and it then becomes a considerable task to  pull together the entire customer base onto one centralised electronic database – the core marketing hub.

However, that’s what’s needed for efficient and effective customer management and effective marketing. Building your marketing database

To build your marketing database, start with the basics and then add on the information that is of particular interest to your business.  Be sure to keep your database simple though – you need to be able to retrieve data quickly.

1. Customer Identity and Characteristics * All names, addresses and telephone numbers * Business: Type of business, number of employees, key personnel, current customer or  prospective customer. * Consumer: Sex, date of birth, family members, hobbies. 2. Service Requested/Special Requests/Interests * Services purchased * Complaints * Enquiries, Instructions, Agreements 3. Recency /Frequency / Monetary Factors * Recency = when customer last bought your service * Frequency = how often they buy * Monetary = how much they spend on what 4. Media that influenced Transaction * Advertising, Direct Mail, Tele Sales, Publicity 5. A History of Customer Relationship * The information gathered will give you a complete history of your customer  relationship. * You will be in a position to contact customers on a personal basis, through the most  appropriate medium. 6. Your Return on Advertising and Sales Budgets * By recording all transactions in your database, including the medium that stimulated it,  you can break down the return you get from all advertising and marketing activity.

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