How to Achieve Consistency in Your Databases
The future of a marketing database is first-party data, which is the information you collect from people who interact directly with your business. They might give their email address and opt-in to a newsletter in exchange for a valuable download, or a discount code. They might be a customer and give you their details during the ordering process, and they might be a lead who has registered an interest in your products, or requested a call back. They might even be people you've met in-person at a trade show, but the unifying theme is that they're all people who are interested in your products or services.
Getting the contact details of people is the very basis of building a database, but the output of your marketing activities is reliant on the quality of the data you're directing marketing collateral towards. Consistency is the key to personal, relevant marketing communications that actually work.
The first aspect of consistency is to define which fields of data you want. Name, position, company, email address and phone number are the absolute basics. Postal addresses can be useful either for sending printed communications, or for segmenting on the basis of geographic area. This allows you to target customers in an area of the country experiencing certain weather conditions, or location specific problems you can solve (even if you're sending that marketing message by email).The date a record was added is also useful for targeting and for analysis.
These data fields should be standardised across all your data intake points. For online data capture forms use drop-down menus and pre-selected options to make life easier for the person giving you their data. If you're predominantly UK based, don't have a drop-down menu for the country field that expects the users to scroll all the way to the bottom, instead have United Kingdom as the top option.
For job titles, give users a selection to choose from so you have consistency in your database that allows you to tailor messages to certain roles or levels within their company. Free text fields often mean you end up with “marketing manager, manager of marketing UK, marketing director, director of marketing, sales and marketing manager” and all manner of other job titles that essentially mean the same thing. Standardised options make everyone's lives easier.
With online data collection forms it's a good idea to use hidden fields and tags which tell you which campaign landing page or document download captured the record. This gives insight into the customer's interest which you can leverage to send relevant promotions and information to each contact.
Data captured offline, such as personal contacts, or people met at trade shows, should be added to your database (with their permission, of course).It should be easy to add these records to your database, but do ensure they're not already in there due to a prior contact. De-duplication of a marketing database can be time consuming (especially if there's a lack of consistency) so it is best to check you're not creating a second record for the same person.
When people move on to a new position or a new company, update the record you already hold for them rather than creating a new one. This avoids sending marketing communications to an email address, or physical address for someone who's left a company and therefore saves you money and decreases your bounce rate on email campaigns.
If you need help with cleaning up your marketing databases, then feel free to pop us a message. With a consistent and fleshed-out database, Parua can take your marketing to the next level and beyond, consistently!
Tel: 01242 697 692