Seven Steps to Rejuvenate Your Marketing Database

May 20, 2013
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marketing databaseA hard look at digital marketing programs shows an increase in marketing activity by businesses and a proportionate level of consumer disengagement. This happens for a variety of reasons. The consumer is barraged by messaging across channels – from your business and others.  Some of the other reasons include the consumer having real time access to messaging through mobile, lots of social discussions, and the consumers’ ability to turn you off at any time.

Your messaging needs to engage. You need to make sure that you are communicating with relevance. Your marketing database is what will help you create this relevance. Here are seven key considerations to rejuvenate your marketing database.

1 – Create a Roadmap – You know where you are and what you can do today. Start by listing where you would like to be and start coming up with small steps in between. Use cases will go a long way in helping you come up with tactical steps.

2 – Focus on the Business Needs – Put forth a list of those who use your marketing database and ask them about what information they need and how they want to use the information. In the world of use cases, this means you are listing the actors (users) and asking them to list their use cases (tasks) on how they would use the marketing database.

3 – Find the Gaps – You will find that you are missing information, have duplicate information, take too long to update information, or it is really hard to find the information. Additionally, users may not be able to find the information in different places compatible with each other. You consequently need to highlight these gaps and start improving the quality of data (or put it on the roadmap).

4 – Design Your Reports – Do this first as people will want to see the information in a particular format. Once you start getting people sold on the look and feel of what the reports are, you will find them much more amenable to changes that might be required later.

5 – Educate Your Users – Teach them how to use the database. I usually recommend a three-step approach. I ask the users to write down specific use cases on what information they need from the system. Next I ask them to point it out in the reports (step 4). Once they have done that, I encourage them to click through to find the appropriate data. These three steps can now be captured as part of the user manual and should be kept available for online support as well.

6 – Make the Database Accessible – If people can access your database to get the reports that they desire – they are more likely to use it. From a performance perspective, limit the number of power users (users who can run any query) so as to not reduce the performance of your system. Pre-run popular reports so that the information is available to those that need it. Also, work with the power users to add to the repository of reports and keep evaluating (and removing) reports that are not used. 

7 – Make Reports Mobile – Allow your key users to have access to summary reports on their mobile devices. This is power messaging at its best and it really helps to rejuvenate the utility of information and your marketing database.

(image: database / shutterstock)