Panel Offers Six Ways to Get the Most From Your Database
It’s about more than just collecting the raw numbers and data. Know how to analyze that data based on what you’re looking for and what questions need to be answered from it. An expert panel at the Philadelphia Direct Marketing Association’s meeting held earlier this month addressed this issue in a session titled “Database Marketing Myths, Mistakes and Masterpieces.”
Panelists David Geisinger, vice president of database marketing agency Merkle; Steve Max, e-business director of Airgas, a catalog/multichannel distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases and related equipment to industrial and commercial markets; Perry Kahn, vice president of sales and business development at Infolure, a data processing products and services provider; and session moderator Rick Pollack, principal owner at Advanced Analytic Solutions, a statistical consulting firm, provided the audience with tips on how to most effectively manage their databases.
1. Invest time and resources into database marketing. As with any marketing plan, you can’t succeed without investing adequately, Geisinger said. He suggested looking at what competitors are doing and determining how heavily they’re investing in database marketing resources. Kahn added that tracking results and learning from past mistakes is a must in database marketing.
2. Form a hypothesis. Know what kinds of product- and customer-related information you want to get from your data, Max said. Determine whether you sell better seasonally, if you need to target your mailings to a particular demographic, whether your free-shipping promotions are effective, and so forth. Pollack suggested contacting a vendor to do a survey of your customers. Geisinger pointed out that every marketing dollar the insurance company Geico spends goes through a forecasting tool. This tool enables Geico to measure how much business will be driven to its call center from each marketing dollar, down to the medium used (television, radio, print) and the market area.