Five companies turn data dilemmas into marketing solutions
Too often, companies think of their databases as … databases: collections of names and numbers, of dates and dollar amounts. And technically, that’s what they are. But if you think of your database as just names and numbers, that’s all you’ll get out of it.
Your data is your record of customer interaction; as such, it is your most valuable commodity. Like the story of the jeweler who locked up his customer list—not his diamonds—in his safe each night, marketers must revere their databases.
The sad fact, however, is that much data is in disarray. Many companies’ data usage is a shadow of what it could be, perhaps limping along on outdated systems or lurching to and fro thanks to cutting-edge technology suboptimally employed.
It’s high time for many companies to make over their data practices, to turn over a new leaf where data use is concerned. For this month’s cover story, we talked to experts in the field of database architecture on what needs to be done to ensure a database overhaul provides you with a database that does more than simply track transactions, but that can increase your efforts’ speed to market; allow you a higher level of targeting and segmenting sophistication; help you reduce waste and any number of other benefits. We also picked the brains of marketers and consultants willing to share their own database makeover success stories, which you’ll read about in the four case studies later in this story.
If You Build It … Build It Right
The problem for many companies looking to revamp their databases, says Bernice Grossman, president of the DMRS Group Inc. in New York City, a firm that consults on the design and development of marketing database systems, is that they don’t think through the details.