Database Marketing: A 24-point Checklist
It used to be that after a campaign dropped, you got canned printed reports showing what happened. Today, marketers have very sophisticated analytical software linked to their databases so that each analyst can do any type of standard or ad hoc report before, during and after a campaign. We now have “hands-on” marketing.
#13—Web Access to the Database
Today the marketing database is in a relational format on a server that can be accessed online by anyone in the company, from any location. Instead of a couple of analysts working with the data, it is available to management, sales, customer service, marketing and market research. Web access has made marketing databases a useful tool throughout the enterprise.
In the past, most companies kept their customer lists strictly private. Today, most lists are shared, exchanged or rented. As a result there are more than 40,000 lists on the market, which include data on more than 240 million American consumers and millions of businesses.
#15—Campaign Management Software
Direct marketing campaigns used to be generated by memoranda to a service bureau: “Select these groups, divide them into these segments with these codes, and fax me the counts.” The process of getting the mail out the door took three to six weeks. Today, marketers have campaign management software linked to their database so they can do the planning and the actual selections themselves in an afternoon. It cuts weeks off of the direct mail time, resulting in higher response rates.
Modern service bureaus can take any large or small file of customers or prospects, reconfigure them into a common format, correct the addresses to U.S. Postal Service standards, consolidate the duplicates, apply National Change of Address and get the records ready for mailing or storage in your marketing database in one or two days after receipt of the data.