Why You Should Be Building A Marketing Database In Your Business
Every business should be actively involved in building a marketing database. This is a strong statement and many businesses may disagree. For instance, a business with an established book of customers and no active growth plan may not feel the need to collect marketing leads. Or, a small business may grow their enterprise informally through networking events, LinkedIn or direct mail, without ever putting together a consolidated database of contacts.
However, in our experience having a central marketing database represents a huge advantage to businesses of any size and any sector, making it easier to access data, manage your contacts and plan your business development strategy.
If you haven’t yet established a concise, searchable marketing database, here are the main reasons you should make it your very next action point:
1) Central Access Point For All Sales & Marketing Data
Many businesses start off by tracking ‘hot leads’ on one or more Excel spreadsheets. As your contact list grows, it becomes more and more time-consuming and difficult to record all the relevant information on a spreadsheet. Different departments will often have their own spreadsheet(s), bringing the risk of duplication and cross communication. A marketing database provide a centralised point that can accommodate a large amount of data and grow as you do. If you choose a cloud-based system the database can be updated across all users in real-time, so that all marketing and sales people know exactly what actions have been taken and what the next steps are with each contact.
Not all the people you speak to in business are going to fall into the same category. Some types of contact, such as suppliers and competitors, are not really targets for marketing at all, although it is useful to keep their contact information. Within prospect businesses there may be several types of buyer. For instance, you may want to target company owners, senior engineers and project managers – depending on your product and the type of prospect company. Each type of buyer – or buyer persona – will need a different sales and marketing approach to facilitate conversion. This is very tricky to manage on a spreadsheet, even with Excel’s filtering options. Implementing a good marketing database allows you to segment your contacts and plan the best communications for each group.
3) Easy Note Keeping
Manually recording communications takes time. With a manual system or spreadsheet, it is common for users to post updates only every week or so. The result is important updates getting forgotten, information being misremembered and opportunities missed. The great thing about a marketing database application is the capacity for timely note keeping and instant data recording. Many platforms automatically log email and phone communication, along with a timestamp to help you record the communication trail with each prospect. You can also use the system to facilitate easier communication with your prospects, setting up reminders for calls and allowing users to follow up on email discussions.
Now You Have A Marketing Database, What Next?
A marketing database is an extremely powerful tool, but like any tool it is only effective if it is used properly. For this you need a firm understanding of your business goals and how the database can help you achieve them. You also need the appropriate strategies in place to nurture your database contacts and convert them, first to paying customers, secondly to repeat business, and thirdly to brand advocates. Implementing these strategies involves having the right software applications in place, the right knowledge and enough spare hands to make it work – and then to analyse the results.
Working with a business growth agency like JDR makes your marketing spend go further by targeting your marketing database in the best way possible. We can recommend and apply the most appropriate strategies for your business, bringing in the best results from the customers you need to target. Get in touch with one of our growth specialists for more details.