As a small or medium business, you may not have the impressive budgets that larger companies have to spend on their sales and marketing campaigns which means all campaigns you create need to be as targeted and cost effective as possible. A well organised and up to date customer marketing database is a priceless tool for building profitable relationships with customers and nurturing future relations.
According to smallbusiness.co.uk here are 5 steps to building and maintaining a marketing database:
Think about your objectives
What is your objective for holding a customer’s information? Is it to communicate regularly to them to become a thought leader or to ensure repeat business and cross sales?
You don’t need to hold all the information on every lead/prospect and customer you’ve had or come into contact with but keeping transaction history and contact information for an appropriate amount of time can aid your business. Decide what information you want to collect, how you’ll collect this and how you’ll maintain this afterwards.
Put data at the heart of your business
Putting your customer’s data at the heart of your decisions will help your business to truly put your customers first. Take a step back and think who they are, what do they need and how your business is helping them. Too often, businesses will make decisions with the sole aim of profit generation or market penetration. Looking back at this data can help to maximise your marketing opportunity and ultimately your profits.
By reviewing your customer data, you’ll be able to conduct some customer profiling and get to know your customers better by grouping them based on their similar characteristics. What their job titles are, what industry your customers typically fall into and how old their business is. This can help you to push campaigns out to your target market better.
Send the relevant messaging at the right time
By analysing your customers, you may be able to see trends, whether this be by industry, business size or location based. This will help you to define your target market as well as targeting your customers with different messages.
Sending irrelevant content to customers will lead them to disregard any other communications you send them in the future if it’s not tailored to their business. This links back to keeping your data up to date with the relevant information you need within your database. Also make sure to not bombard them with sales and marketing communications, this could result in your email not being read or going straight to spam.
Keep it clean
Data decays over time, businesses relocate or shut down, owners and directors will change or the same business could’ve rebranded. Out of date data is a waste of space to hold and a waste of money to contact but also damaging to your brand if you’re contacting a business with the wrong information. Regularly keep in touch with your customers to make sure your database is up to date, even better, give customers the option to update their own information where possible. Regarding emails, keep a track of bounce backs, opt outs and returns and have someone contact these people to see whether their information needs updating.
Use it wisely
People are now becoming more frustrated and aware of data usage and value. They’ve realised that their data is being used in many more ways than they thought it could be and are not sure when they have given consent to do this. Using a customer’s data record incorrectly will frustrate them and be a waste of your time so first and foremost, make sure you’ve had consent to do this.
The collection of data should be done to increase productivity and efficiency within your business to help manage relations with your customers and help achieve your business objectives. If these businesses have opted in for you to use their data, this means they want to hear from you. Make this experience enjoyable and relevant to them by sending them information they want to know about. Make this beneficial for your business also by understanding your customers’ business needs and meeting these needs to maximise your chance of potential sales opportunities.
If you’re looking to find a new set of customers for your business, Experian has the perfect solution for you. With Experian’s B2B Prospector, you can build a list of ideal prospects with up to date marketing data to target your most profitable business prospects. With over 5.1 million business records to choose from, get building here.