Every click, phone call, text message and transaction is where customers provide a wide array of data. Data is powerful. It can deliver lasting value for the business and the customer.
There are significant benefits of database marketing. Brands that use customer data to move the business forward can stand above marketing noise by focusing on three principles:
- Trust means ensuring data is accurate, complete, current and secure.
- Access every team member across the organization needs access to data and insights.
- Activation. Data segmentation, predictions, measurement and coordination of customer actions across all channels.
Teams across the business have slightly different needs and use for data. Typically, these teams are:
- Marketers who want to pinpoint optimal segments and organize cross-channel experiences, and measure performance.
- Analysts who work with vast, unorganized datasets need to fill holes with expensive third-party data that is costly, wrong and increasingly private.
- IT professionals who manage data infrastructures, data coordination and governance
- Executives who lack a clear idea of who the most valuable customers are and how to move the organization forward to better opportunities.
Many businesses have unconnected data points rather than a three-dimensional view of customers. By connecting these data points, a company can determine actionable insights by combining the data that previously lived in siloes across many systems.
Once the information is gathered and profiles are created, an organization can match customer interactions with the appropriate profile. Then, marketers can deliver personalized marketing messages to attract customers’ interest. A targeted message that speaks directly to a customer increases the likelihood that a customer will remain loyal.
How to Build a Revenue-Driving Customer Database
Look for at least seven critical capabilities of an enterprise customer data platform across an organization. To achieve trust, access and activation that permits teams to use customer data, a customer data platform (CDP) must fill in gaps. Teams can use customer data for planning and execution, including:
- Data collection
- Record unification
- Profile creation
- Audience segmentation
- Insights and predictions
- Data orchestration
- Testing and measurement
A customer data platform drives an enterprise CX strategy. Customers expect personalized experiences. Traditional information collection methods must change since third-party cookies are on the way to obsolescence. Therefore, a robust, trustworthy and reliable customer database is essential for customer retention, acquisition and development by sales and marketing professionals and stores information like:
- Buying patterns
- Personal details like phone numbers, addresses and email information
- Demographic data
- Information about interactions
This information assists an organization in understanding its customers and in developing the right products and services. An updated customer database can contribute to marketing and sales success. When building a database, it is essential to be strategic – the right technology transforms customer service into a growth channel.
Here are steps to consider when creating the database:
1. Define the database functions. It is critical to define and understand the processes. It should perform four customer relationship functions:
- Operational functions rely on a database from a related strategic direction to assist a business’ daily activities. For example, a department store could access a customer’s purchase history to define what products a customer might buy.
- Collaborative functions. A cooperative database is vital in aligning delivery channels with partners catering to end users.
- Analytical functions. Analytical customer relationship operations use data to assist marketing work and offer value for customers. For example, a car dealership can provide a free oil change to customers from entries gathered from the database.
- Strategic activities. Strategic customer relationships need information about customers, markets, offers, competitors, delivery and logistical challenges to find new customers.
2. Identify data sources
Understanding data sources ensures your customer database is successful. We suggest collecting information from sales, marketing, service and departments that make strategic customer relationship decisions. A best practice is to include customer email and product preference and how they prefer to be greeted (salutations). When dealing with customer management choices, separate datasets may be needed. Also, ensure all users have access to all vital information.
3. Choose the database
Data may be stored in three forms:
· Hierarchical database. This kind of database organizes customer data in a streamlined visual structure
· Network database. The type of database links various customer information to an owner within an intricate network.
· Relational database. This kind of database is digitally-based, referred to as a relation-based database.
4. Structure the data
Once the type of database is determined, it is time to define how the user will structure information, such as information and defined marketing segments. Then, ensure it is accessible so one can make informed choices regarding marketing efforts. Also, it is beneficial to keep sales data in sales segments so it can be analyzed and applied to sales strategies.
5. Expand the database
Once the database is created, the next step is to supplement it with other sources. This could be existing customer details to locate similar information with campaign-generated data.
6. Create a maintenance program
It is vital to update organizational and customer data for accuracy, which is accomplished in a few ways:
- Add data from new campaigns
- Remove inactive customer information
- ·Ask customers to update their information
Strategies to Leverage Your Customer Database
Once the database is built, it is time to leverage your data. Here are a few ideas:
- Customer segmentation. This is an essential step in email marketing and brand messaging. We suggest grouping customers into relevant segments. This is an easy tactic to drive sales.
- Programmatic advertising uses targeting and retargeting tactics to show up strategically as a website visitor performs searches. It is a significant marketing effort and can be done through Google Ads.
- Make smart buys with traditional media. Consider that segmentation and persona-building based on geography, demographics, and personal interests exist in the database. Publications, radio stations, last digital activities, etc., can cross-reference digital data.
- Reengagement investment reminders. Helpful examples of re-engagement reminders and push notifications are from Duolingo and Headspace.
- Content guidance. A customer database mixed with website visitor tracking helps determine what content sales leads and customers visit. Viewing these data points makes adjusting marketing and sales strategies easier.
- Leverage reviews. A business can leverage the customer database to increase positive social media feedback and reviews. Furthermore, a company can gather helpful input through surveys.
Profitable Uses for a Customer Database
A quality customer database is an organization’s strategic tool for competitive advantage. Information powers our economy, and advanced data analytics promote sales.
Here are profitable and legal ways to use your customer data:
a. Create buyer personas. It is beneficial to know your target customers and their purchasing behaviors. Successful businesses depend on buyer personas to represent ideal customers. The correct data enables profitable marketing and sales decisions.
b. Decrease customer churn. The ideal customer database helps one understand and improve churn rates. Say there is a customer who purchases every week, then goes a month without buying anything. Having customer churn information allows sales to connect with customers using the database’s details and encourage them to resume their buying habits.
c. Personalized customer support. Customer service representatives should prepare themselves for customer inquiries. Data access permits representatives to access a customer’s profile and offer customized support.
d. Sales foresight. The database will provide relevant information to predict when customers will repurchase. Through reports, sales can create plans for free products.
e. Personalized email communication created with prior purchase data can increase customer retention. It can also generate sales through email list segmentation by demographic data.
Elevate Your Digital Marketing Today
A reliable growth strategy during a recession is customer data management. Business success requires going above product and service sales. Thanks to technology, there are many opportunities to build and nurture relationships.
Technological innovations permit organizations to manage and act on conversationally-generated data. Scalable cloud storage options, computing technologies, intuitive CRM integrations and robust APIs offer unprecedented opportunities for businesses to know their customers.
Stefanini offers a comprehensive range of marketing solutions delivered by technologically advanced and creative teams. Partner with us and elevate your digital marketing today.