When shopping for a database marketing services company, there are “must-haves” that should be on everyone’s list. Most marketers would agree that the following attributes are important:
- A multichannel database solution to support our marketing activities in today’s complex, multichannel, multi-touch environment
- Marketing efforts that are enhanced by refining name and address quality and linkage across channels, reducing data redundancy, improving prospect marketing, providing better analytics and modeling, and leveraging Web analytics more effectively
- Better and more integrated consumer preference data, improving my ability to understand my customers and prospects with a 360-degree view of all their interactions and behaviors, while allowing me to capture revenues and costs
- A more intelligent sales allocation method that accurately portrays the costs of acquiring and keeping consumers with visibility to those costs at the promotion channel level, ultimately allowing me to optimize contact strategies
- A solution that will lower my costs and improve my ability to make insightful business decisions, using standardized and automated reporting
The marketing services business is not simply about building a data warehouse, bolting on a business intelligence tool, deduping names, performing address hygiene, building websites and developing creative content. At the end of the day, a service provider should discuss ways in which they can enhance your ROI through a combination of online and offline vehicles.
If I’m shopping for a database marketing services company, I’m looking for the above needs to be satisfied using a database architecture that separates the root data management components from the analytic and reporting elements and allows analytic components to be “snapped in” based on my unique needs.
This modularized framework should enable the phasing of analytic and reporting needs across time without incurring additional, restricting costs, and it should support detail data at raw and summarized levels to ensure capabilities, reduce complexities and improve performance. Couple this with direct access to my data so I may gain actionable insights for campaign execution, whether online, offline or both, and some outside-the-box thinking that gives me a set of solutions for business, marketing and technology, and I think I’ve found a great partner.
Jack Sturn is president of data management at SolutionSet.