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Dig into your database

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A well kept database of customer information can provide a company with valuable marketing information that will help it boost sales, increase customer retention and satisfaction.

Databases of customers, existing and potential, have enormous value as a source of marketing data that can drive your business to boost sales, increase customer retention and satisfaction, and ultimately grow the bottom line.

Not only can databases provide data and information that can be acted on at once, they can also produce fantastic results over a period, when used as part of a long-term strategy for identifying new customers, keeping existing ones, and luring some past customers back, says Louise Robinson, MD of CG Consulting.

She says in terms of new leads, an effective long-term strategy makes use of database marketing, by using several techniques to find these leads. Firstly, impact radius marketing, which is essentially sending out marketing literature and other materials to people in a similar geographic region as your business and other customers, identifying individuals could realistically influence to do business with you. “If your customers in this area are benefiting from your products, there’s a reasonable expectation that other people in the area, who share several demographic features could benefit as well.

She says the second technique is drip marketing, which she describes as a communication strategy that sends, or “drips,” marketing communication messages to customers or prospects over time. These communications might be emails, but are not limited to them. The messages follow a pre-set course, and are dripped in an order that ties in to a specific behaviour from the prospect.

In terms of getting past customers on board again, Robinson says again, the database holds valuable data on clients who have previously bought and used your products or services.

Marketing campaigns and programmes can be designed using this data to re-stimulate their interest in your business. Using the database helps the business understand what needs they had before, and there is a fairly good chance they will still have those needs. Moreover, the database can be used to design discounts, special offers, and cross-selling based on particular interests that you know about.

For new business, she says not to forget that the clients that are in your databases are a potential source for referrals. “Here again, assumptions can be made that your customers – family, friends and similar could also possibly have an interest in your products and services. Mine the database for possible referral sources, and tailor-make offers and rewards that will tempt your clients into providing you with direct referrals too.

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