Benefits of Having a Marketing Database
Most businesses today are run with the support of a marketing database, be it a fully managed bespoke solution or the backend database managing a third party CRM system. How effectively a database or the data accumulated is used for marketing purposes is another question entirely. Most users of a CRM system or those managing a list of customer or prospects via an Excel spreadsheet are excluding themselves from the key strategic benefits of using a marketing database.
The Data Model
A database is in essence a collection of data stored in a series of logical tables that are then easily accessible via a given interface e.g. a logical model of Customer Sites > Contacts > Sales Transactions. These can be stored in a SQL Server database and queried directly or via a third party data visualisation tool like Apteco, FastStats or Tableau. Furthermore a tool like FastStats can also manage your campaign requirements using the defined database model to correctly process the required data.
Single Customer View
A managed database solution will allow for the accurate creation of a Single Customer View (SCV). Where organisations have many disparate systems not linked together it is very difficult to establish an exact SCV for any process let alone marketing. A database will allow for multiple feeds to be incorporated into the logical model. This data must be unique to form an accurate SCV at customer Site and Contact level.
Data Cleansing and Management
The creation of a reliable customer marketing database is down to the quality of the data and will vary from source to source. Every effort must be made to cleanse, standardise and format all key elements e.g. site addresses, contact names, telephone and email addresses. Applying PAF validation and creating bespoke cleansing routines using the database query language can help immensely to achieve this goal.
Clean and standardised data can then be run through a deduplication tool to identify and flag duplicate site addresses and contacts at those addresses helping to build a reliable SCV from a single or multiple sources. The database model can then be refreshed with new data on a chosen update cycle to maintain current and up to date data. Furthermore the established base can then be enriched by matching to third party data and adding various demographics e.g. Standard Industry Code (SIC), Employee Size or Turnover.
Once established, the marketing database will provide a reliable source of customer data and the ability to promote a disciplined approach. This will reduce the amount of time spent managing the data across numerous systems. Best practice procedures can also be implemented to meet various data legislation laws on data marketing preferences (MPS\TPS) and email legislation by country. Improved data quality and consistency will help the business to learn more about their customers and open an array of further insight and analysis.
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B2B data guru Simon Lawrence is CEO & Founder of Uncommon Knowledge and has been helping global businesses put data & insight at the heart of their marketing. Lawrence has a strong heritage within the business-to-business data solutions industry. As the proud founder of data and analysis provider, Information Arts, he successfully grew the brand into one associated. With quality and innovation, he provides direction and value to major blue chips in the UK, Europe and the USA. Renowned as establishing the first dedicated B2B Conference to share excellence, Lawrence also co-founded and sold the B2B Awards to reward excellence in B2B. As recognition of his relentless passion and dedication to the B2B data solutions industry, Lawrence was voted amongst the Top 20 most influential people in B2B Marketing by his peers.
You can contact Simon directly on [email protected]