Five ways to invigorate your database marketing in 2012

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Dana Hayman, Infogroup Targeting Solutions
Dana Hayman, Infogroup Targeting Solutions

By knowing the basics and working from a solid foundation, better database marketing can be implemented quickly and effectively. Here are our top five best practice tips for implementing better database marketing.

  • The time is now: Database marketing has a legacy going back to the 1980s, a long time for any marketing tactic to stay relevant. In the digital age, it's a lifetime. However, remember that better, more accurate and searchable customer information helps reinforce and grow complementary digital programs. Implementing a high-quality database marketing solution today may save headaches down the road when bringing email marketing, social media and digital paid media marketing programs online.

  • Quality in, quality out: Marketers are often faced with a database that hasn't been updated regularly. It's key to commit to constantly updating so that you're working from the latest information available about your consumer base.
A recent IDC study states that digital information is doubling every two years, which means there's never been a better time to start harnessing that data.
  • Start with what you know: A complete cradle-to-grave customer database requires analysis to be used effectively. It can lead to “analysis paralysis” or spending too much time on a specific segment. Start small and find clear trends in the data. Efforts to implement database marketing can also be derailed when a large overhaul or restructure of a marketing plan is suggested. Start with what you know and work from there.

  • Celebrate wins and acknowledge challenges: It's important to use data to your advantage to find small wins. Document and track these wins thoroughly and establish a regular reporting schedule with the marketing team. Small, well-documented wins will build into a groundswell that's manageable and free from overly broad data, while thorough tracking reveals what challenges still exist.

  • Optimize and refine: Database marketing allows for experimentation when acting on your results. Try out new ideas based on your data, find niche audiences and document what's working. Optimize your strategy by giving your customers the chance to give feedback. Listen closely to that feedback and adjust your communications accordingly. If your customers indicate a preferred method of communication, honor that in future correspondence.

Dana Hayman is VP of marketing strategy and insights at Infogroup Targeting Solutions.

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