Database: The Missing Link
Does your marketing execution pursue strategy or tactics? Do you have the tools to help you pursue both to success? First you must know the difference between strategy and tactics. Strategy: the grand design, the plan for obtaining a specific goal, such as learning how to sell trucks. Tactics: a set of actions, devices or methods in service of the strategy, such as each day’s coursework in a sales class about how to sell trucks.
The most effective marketers focus successively on their strategy and their tactics. Accomplishing this ideal approach requires the development and execution of a strategy through the well-organized and efficientperformance of intricate sets of tactical actions in phone, e-mail, online, viral and direct mail campaigns. The mechanics of such a performance are greatly supported by good marketing tools that accommodate customer database management, linked to advertising planning, accounting and distribution systems for outputting the instructions and materials. Highly touted tools include enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems’ CRM modules, with their grasp of the enterprise’s divisions, and marketing analytics modules to analyze customer activity and execute promotional plans.
In the recent past, several companies with big ERP and CRM systems asked me to help them understand their customers for direct marketing purposes. When I looked into their customer data management systems, I was impressed with the sophisticated links they had to other company areas to support comprehensive and efficient reporting of inventory, orders and sales, shipments, and the history of the customers’ activities. These systems—for example, SAP/CRM and Oracle/Siebel/CRM—enabled the firms to input, sell to and organize their customers in a variety of account and contact structures.
So, why did they ask me for help? They asked because the analytics software did not let the firms perform the direct marketing analyses and strategic planning activities they felt they needed to plan and conduct marketing their way.