Oct 26, 2010

Your Most Important Marketing Asset: Your Database

Content is cheap. Basically anyone can publish a blog, setup a Facebook Page or post a few tweets. Creating and publishing content is relatively easy, but getting your content to the right people is not. That’s where your customer database comes into play.

Your customer database is your most important marketing asset. It’s hard to grow, hard to maintain and even harder to duplicate. A large, high quality database is an incredible competitive advantage. The better and bigger it is the more people you can reach and engage. The more people you can reach the more leads you can generate. Basically a big database is a license to print money.

Your database is more than CRM

The classic view of a customer database is everything in Salesforce.com, Microsoft CRM or whatever contact management system you use. That’s only a starting point.

Social media is one of the most powerful and scalable aspects of your company’s database. The people following you on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are your “opt-in relationships.” Each of these platforms provides you an opportunity to engage your followers, as well as tools to profile and assess who is following you.

Your opt-in database is gold. These people are not only sharing their information with you, they’re asking you to communicate with them. What an incredible privilege!

Garbage in, Garbage out

Your database is a living thing. Feed it with good data, and be sure to trim the weeds. An effective strategy to manage data quality is to do a cleanup after each email broadcast. Update the unsubscribes and purge the bounces.

A major reason for bounced emails is people change jobs. As you purge the bounces take a moment and see where these people are working on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is an incredible resource to find out where people are moving. This is an ideal opportunity to source new companies that could be a fit for your products and services.

Size Matters

Size does matter. It’s a sign of your reach.

The larger your database the better. The more people you can communicate with, the more leads and referrals you can generate.

Your database won’t grow on its own, make it a priority. Give your organization clear goals and guidelines for adding new contacts, sourcing information and improving the data quality.

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