We came across this article from BtoB Online that mirrors our opinions on the value of database marketing: No better time to try data mining
It focuses on B2B and makes the case for why mining customer data is so important, and how it adds value to your business.
It also provides three straightforward tips to help B2B marketers embrace database marketing and effectively use their customer data:
"1) Set clear marketing objectives. Data mining techniques are useless if you don’t know what you want to achieve. You don’t want to do data mining for its own sake. You want to make sure that you produce knowledge that is actionable. You need to be focused in your data mining so that you are producing results that can be implemented into tactical initiatives that help you achieve your marketing objectives. It’s all in the planning. It’s about putting together a roadmap of analysis that is needed to help drive and meet marketing objectives.Since so many B2B companies are organized around a traditional sales model (i.e.: outside or inside sales reps are responsible for sales and much of the customer marketing), these database marketing tips are especially important.
2) Conduct a data audit. How current and reliable are your customer data? To find this, assess the information based on its origins. Did the information come from the customer directly, during the point of sale or from a third-party source? Look to your marketing objectives to determine what information is required.
Make sure you are able to track all transactional history back to the customer mapping. A common issue is the use of different versions of a company name in your database.
3) Clean up your data. Data hygiene involves looking for potential errors, undefined fields or duplication. The follow through from the data audit is to make sure you capture all the information you can on a customer and making sure you can match those transactions."
There's really no reason NOT to learn more about your customers, consumer or business. And, in this economy, it's imperative that firms do more with less. Maximizing the value within your own database will reap rewards. Two immediate benefits that come to mind.
- If you understand who your best, most profitable customers are, you can find more just like them. It just so happens that RRW has just introduced an entry-level customer profiling solution (under our Analyze Your Customers division). For a very low fee, we'll profile your business or consumer customers and show you how they are different from the universe at large. With this insight, you can then go after prospects that look just like good customers. Pretty nifty!
- If you understand the products that an individual customer is most likely to need, you'll be able to intelligently offer them the next best product. This type of intelligence will boost your cross-sell and up-sell programs immensely. Plus, it should help with customer retention, since the more products a customer has with you, the less likely they are to defect. See this article that reviews our analytical approach in understanding the next best product to offer.