is easy in theory, difficult in practice to correct.
The most frequent question I get is, “What is the most important element of a business marketing program?”
As one can imagine in a direct marketing campaign, (today all marketing is direct) there are so many factors that will affect the response and it’s difficult to pinpoint any one portion.
Unfortunately, there is one problem I’ve seen over and over since I became a small business owner in 1984. In fact, this problem is so logical, companies still make this mistake on a daily basis.
People spend an inordinate amount of time on the preparation of a direct marketing campaign, and when it appears finally ready, a voice in the back of the room usually says, “What list are we using?”
Yes, the problem is your list of contacts, customers and prospects you hope to do business with. Let me share a story with you from another consultant friend of mine that we recently discussed.
“Having lunch with a potential business client, she told me their website finally exceeded 500 visits from their Google Analytics account. Then rather quickly in the next sentence she said her “email list” has doubled in the past six months.
Before she could get the next sentence out, I asked her what the analytics were on the email programs. She reported less than 7% of the emails were opened, and not a single “click” was directed to their company Website. Their email list was close to 1600 contacts.
Around 93% of the email contacts bounced, remained unopened or were unsubscribed. Even before I could get my hands around the problem, she told me they are now preparing another campaign using the same list of contacts.”
The problem is huge…
First, this is not unusual. I’ve seen it myself so many times I have lost count. When a company spends the time to update their marketing contacts, customer communications suddenly become more effective.
Second, anyone can have a list of names. There’s no marketing value in the word list. A typical “customer and prospect list” may have a turnover rate of 25 to 30% per year!
Something to think about…
If no one reads or does not receive your marketing communication, then you are wasting a lot of time and money.
The best solution is to use a Database in place of having just a list. A Database of customer information which is periodically updated, has a lot of value. Another benefit of updated data means it’s easier to segment your clients and create niche segments.
A Database allows a company to send a relevant message, pertinent to the customer’s needs, personalized and comes with a great offer to buy and can be unique to a particular customer profile.
I refer to our Database of customer information as a Customer-Contact Management System (C-CMS). Even the name sounds important. When a process becomes known as important it will finally get the attention so greatly needed.
If you agree that customer data is important forget about calling it a list. When you add customer data to a list, the list is becoming a database. Here is a definition of a database to help you see this is a valuable tool in marketing today.
What is a database?
A database is a collection of data that is organized so that its contents can easily be accessed, managed, and updated by a particular market niche or a target market based on simple segments, such as demographics.
Think about this; not every customer is the same. Stop thinking customers are all alike.
Is a database the solution?
This database definition is the solution to the problem. Nobody likes to do or has the time to manage and update their data. If you care about your marketing results, you’d better change your mind.
Making someone on your marketing team the person who has the final say on data is important. Without this person, your data can return to just a list.
What to do…
If you fall into the list category, change your thinking in 2015. Think all the data you collect goes into a company asset. Every contact within the database is unique. Having an asset on the books that continually makes your company money is a good thing.
Build your new asset, a Customer-Contact Management System, into a powerful database. You’ll see better response rates, happier customers, better referrals and be a full step ahead of the competition.
Visit our company page on customer profiles and at the end of the page, order our FREE paper brought to you by Romeo and Juliet. A love story about data and the relationships it kindles for a company with their customers today!
Thanks for reading and please share with others – except your competition! It is truly appreciated.