Database: Grow Your Customers
Putting EDM Into Practice
The key to successfully integrating EDM into an overall data-driven strategy is to include events as part of your three key strategic goals—Get, Keep and Grow:
Get—Are you targeting prospects entering a life stage that means they are developing a new need for your product or service?
Keep—Are you using life events as a means to continue your relationship with customers, or are you allowing customers to mature away from your company and leave?
Grow—Are you using life stage to expand and deepen existing relationships with customers that correspond to a high share of wallet?
The next step is to look at your customer base as a tool for planning future sales and growth. This is different from a product- or inventory-based approach where when you plan sales you determine how many of each product you think you will sell, how much you need to produce and how much you need to have in inventory. It is different from planning sales by region, store or sales territory.
All of your sales come from all of your customers. If you build the customer base effectively, you build sales and profits now and in the future. Understanding events and their relationship with customer needs, in addition to past transactional behavior, is crucial in understanding what your customer base must "look like" to meet your goals.
Alan Weber is an author and adjunct professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. With credits for the Eukanuba example to Ed Sanders, with whom Weber is co-authoring, along with Egbert Jan van Bel, an upcoming book concerning EDM due later in 2010. Weber can be reached at email@example.com or www.d2sg.net.