How to Conduct a Data Driven Database Marketing Campaign - dummies

How to Conduct a Data Driven Database Marketing Campaign

By David Semmelroth

Data driven database marketing campaigns all have the same basic structure. That structure revolves around the customer. As you develop your campaigns, you’ll be using customer data to answer four basic questions about your campaign:

  • Who?

  • What?

  • How?

  • When?

Your attention needs to stay focused on the customer. A common trap that marketers fall into is to start with an offer or promotion and attempt to find an audience to sell it to. This “I’ve got something to sell, find me someone to buy it” approach is completely backwards and not particularly effective.

The power of database marketing comes from an understanding of the customer’s needs, preferences, and even financial means. An understanding of your customer’s perspective is what drives effective offers.

The target audience in data driven marketing

Your database marketing campaigns begin with a particular business challenge or opportunity in mind — a goal. Typically your goal involves generating revenue. But sometimes your goal may not generate revenue directly. For example, you may be asked to increase web registrations, with the thought that these registrants may be more likely to make purchases in the future.

Once you’re presented with this goal, you need to figure out whom you’re going to communicate with. This target audience will drive everything else you do in your campaign development process. The heart and soul of database marketing is the ability to use data and analytic techniques to choose audiences that will help you meet your business goal.

Through the process of selecting your target audience, you’ll develop a clear picture of the traits that are shared by that audience. You’ll have a profile of that audience which might include past purchases, age, income, marital status, presence of children, and a host of other characteristics that describe them. This profile — the who — will be used in answering the what, how, and when questions about your campaign.

The offer in data driven marketing

The core of your marketing message is the offer that you put in front of the customer. Your goal is to make this offer relevant to members of your target audience. The audience profile is key in designing the offer.

You’ll probably find, for example, that you have two distinct groups of customers as it relates to discounts. You have some that are extremely price sensitive and others who are more interested in getting premium benefits. By understanding which is which, you can design different offers that will appeal to different groups.

The price-sensitive group is probably going to need a discount. So you might offer them 20 percent off their next purchase. But the benefit-driven customer may be enticed by simply informing them of your new top-of-the-line product, no discount needed.

Whatever your offer, you need to make it clear and concise. It’s generally a bad idea to make several offers in a single communication. The offer needs to be the star of the show.

Closely related to your offer is the call to action. It’s not enough to make the offer. You need to explicitly tell the customer how to take advantage of it. Visit our website now or Visit our store today. Like your offer, your call to action should be simple and prominent. It should also be crafted to convey a sense of urgency.

Your marketing message in data driven marketing

The how of your database marketing campaign involves what you’re sending them. This is frequently referred to as your marketing collateral. The first decision you have to make is how you’re going to deliver it. For example, will it be an e-mail or direct mail piece?

Again, your database can help. By looking at past campaigns, you can get a sense of who is responding through which channels. People who often purchase online may be enticed by an e-mail with a link to your site. Those who typically buy in stores may respond better to a direct-mail piece that includes a coupon.

Once you’ve selected the channel, you can proceed with designing your communication. Here, yet again, the profile of your target audience can help you. You can craft your message with that particular audience in mind. Often you do that with the help of an advertising or creative partner. But that partner will definitely want to understand the target audience profile.

Time your message in data driven marketing

Your database marketing campaigns may be executed in conjunction with broader marketing initiatives, like mass media advertising. In these cases, they clearly need to be timed to take full advantage of the combined effects.

But you also need to understand when the message is most likely to be effective. If you’re announcing a weekend sale, when is the right time to be in market? You don’t want to wait until the last minute, but should you send your communication a week in advance? Two weeks?

These same sorts of questions arise when you’re marketing products that require some degree of planning on the part of the customer. Things like vacations and mortgages don’t tend to be last-minute impulse purchases. If you’re trying to fill empty hotel rooms, you can’t wait until the last minute to drop a campaign.

Your database can help yet again. By looking at past campaigns, you can get a sense of where the sweet spot lies. In the case of hotel reservations, your database can tell you exactly how far in advance reservations are typically made.