As companies seek to improve their relationships with customers - either by recruiting new patrons, retaining old ones or a combination of the two - they often find themselves falling back on direct marketing tools. Using such resources, they can gather deep reserves of information about the people they're targeting, which they can hopefully use to sharpen their marketing and sales strategies.
According to Biznology, there's a growing sentiment out there today that your database is your best friend. If you have a good handle on your customers' information, it can take you far.
Gaining a sense of direction
Having a robust marketing database can lend credibility to your efforts. If you're looking to get in touch with your customers more often and with greater focus, having good, clean data can give your initiatives a real sense of direction.
Ruth Stevens, author of "Maximizing Lead Generation: The Complete Guide for B2B Marketers," told Biznology that without the right data, companies would be lost when it came to understanding their client interactions. Having access to information makes all the difference.
"Without a robust collection of contact information, firmographic and transactional data about customers and prospects, you are adrift when it comes to customer segmentation, analytics, and marketing communications of all sorts, whether for acquiring new customers or to expand the value of existing customers," Stevens stated. "In fact, your database is the roadmap for your B2B marketing. It's the recorded history of the customer relationship."
There's no limit to how useful it can be to look back at one's history and find relevant details that may help later.
Making a checklist
Stevens elaborated by naming a few key elements of any customer database - nuggets of information that are extremely useful to keep for future reference.
Contact information is an obvious one. It's of course vital to have people's names, email addresses, phone numbers and mailing addresses on file so that it's easy to contact them moving forward. But there are a number of other elements that are just as crucial.
Savvy businesses know to collect information on people's sales and marketing interactions, not to mention purchasing and billing histories that will paint a fuller picture of their buying practices. Customer service interactions are also key, as it's good to know why people get in touch with their brands and what they're looking to find out. This will likely include histories from web interactions, phone calls, emails and more - all of the above is helpful in portraying a customer interaction in full.