Better data delivers powerful integration

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Customer data drove a Nets campaign designed to boost renewals among season ticket holders
Customer data drove a Nets campaign designed to boost renewals among season ticket holders
The results of the campaign are impressive: The percentage of accounts renewed online rose from 3.8% in 2009 to 11% in 2010. New revenue generated by the campaign was 52 times what the Nets paid FanOne to launch the campaign. PURL open rates were around 50%. What's more impressive is that the campaign occurred after basketball superstar Lebron James decided not to play for the Nets, a shocking blow to a franchise hoping to lure in new fans and keep old ones. FanOne, which originally signed on with the team under a trial agreement, was signed to an 18-month contract after the promotion ended. 

"You need to break through the [marketing] noise and be highly targeted," says Kathleen Greenler Sexton, VP of marketing at ZoomInfo, a database services provider. "It's important for marketers to be relevant and make sure their information is accurate. That means you have to go beyond business card basics and leverage [database] tools." 

Healthcare information solutions provider SK&A worked with ZoomInfo to build a custom database list that it leveraged to build brand awareness in previously untapped markets. SK&A sent targeted e-mail campaigns to more than 20,000 prospects and saw delivery rates of more than 95%, as opposed to 70% delivery rates with SK&A's previous list service. 

Finding the path to activation

Database marketing isn't only about reaching the customer. Sometimes the challenge lies in reaching other marketers within the organization. For AAA Auto Club South, getting customer information into the hands of its employees was at times a month-long process.

"My analytics team had access to 200 data tables and it took too long to answer each of their questions," says Kristin Rahn, director of advanced analytics at AAA Auto Club South.

"We had to join six to 20 tables to answer every single question. What we wanted to do was not only make it easier for my team to be able to answer questions faster but to give marketers the ability to answer the questions themselves." 

Utilizing Portrait Software's self-serve analytics tool, Rahn's team was able to increase the speed of employee queries from two to three weeks to two to three minutes, she says. Customer modeling turnaround time was cut from two to five months to two to eight weeks.

"With Portrait's tool, I don't have to tie up a good resource for five months, and we can create something the business can use much faster," Rahn says. 

At its core, database marketing is about creating familiarity between businesses and consumers, says J. Patrick Bewley, VP of the consulting practice for multichannel marketing strategy at data management and marketing services company Acxiom. Bewley says marketers need to more consistently recognize customers across all touchpoints. This will allow companies to unlock behavioral data to develop a more rounded picture of a customer. Only after a 360-degree customer view is established can marketers accomplish what they've always ultimately tried to do: Earn the customer's trust.

"I grew up in a small town of about 400 people," 
Bewley says. "In that town there was a single store, and a guy named Ellis worked behind the register. Ellis recognized everybody by name. You didn't make it three steps down the aisle before he offered you products you were interested in. Today we're taking [data] technology and we're giving marketers the ability to approximate that small town relationship."

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Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

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