Making Your Marketing Database Work For You

Whatever you call it – contact management, customer relationship management (CRM) or sales and marketing database. It is one of the most valuable marketing and sales tools you have at your disposal; image if you lost all your customer data, where would your business be? So here are few tips to ensure that your database is giving you the business you want.

Tip 1

Plan- Before you buy any database software, STOP and think about what you want your database to do for you. Create a document which outlines what type of information you want to record and why and how the database will be used. Once you have done this, then search for a product which most closely meets your needs and can be tailored in key areas to address your specific requirements.

Planning is vitally important and should always be undertaken before investing in technology. Remember, software is only the enabler, you have to know how you are going to use it to get results. Buy any account If you already have a database and don’t feel that it is working for you, then still undertake this process. You might find that the database doesn’t follow your sales and marketing processes and needs customising to ensure you are getting the most from your investment.

Tip 2

Keep it clean – the information you hold about your customers can be vital to your business success. Information becomes out of date very quickly and if left, over time you can find you have lots of useless information that has to cleaned and updated which can take a long time. Wouldn’t it be better to keep your data updated as you go along?

Tip 3

Data entry – rubbish in means rubbish out, ensure that any data entered is accurate and in the right data field. For example, adding post codes in the “Town” field and vice versa can make it difficult to search for particular types of contacts you may need at a later date. So make sure that everyone in your company is aware of the importance of data entry.

Tip 4

Consistency – drop down lists with pre-defined entries for things such as job titles ensures that building mailing lists for all your “facilities managers” is made much easier. It ensures that accuracy of job titles is maintained and reduces mistakes made by spelling errors and omitted information.

Tip 5

Data – If you obtain, store or use personal details from customers, suppliers or other contacts, it is a legal requirement that you comply with the Data Protection Act. For more info-

Tip 6

Purchased-knowing what your customers have purchased is vital, ensure that you keep up-to-date records. This ensures that you can build accurate mailing lists in the future, and means that you don’t mail contacts who have already bought a particular product. It also means that if you have an update or add-on which you want to promote you can easily find those customers who may want to buy it.

Tip 7

Culture & Training – Make sure that everyone who is responsible for entering data has been trained effectively on how to use the database both from a technology perspective and also how to input data. Set guidelines for data input and check the quality regularly. Make employees aware that entering accurate information will save them time and effort at a later stage.

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