In today’s competitive marketplace, data management and segmentation both are crucial to identifying, retaining and marketing to valuable existing and potential customers. Unfortunately, many organizations fail to recognize data as a valuable asset. Here are two ways to ensure you’re using your information to drive effective customer communication:
1) Check your data quality regularly. Keeping your marketing database updated, cleansed and maintained can provide great return on investment in terms of market share, profit, strategic opportunity and more. Investing in database maintenance not only allows you to identify key customers, but also to identify their behavioral patterns and needs. A study by Gartner found that 75 percent of leading companies are incapable of creating a unified view of their customers; with the main challenge stemming from data (lack of data, poor-quality data, etc.). The better the quality of information you have, the better prepared you’ll be to develop a more profitable relationship with your existing and future customers.
2) Segment and analyze your customers. Successful organizations are those that profile and segment their existing customer base. Customer surveys are a great way to collect feedback on what your customers think of your company. For B-to-B marketers, segmentation also can include industry type, employee size, geographical location, purchase history, etc. This business intelligence can help predict buying behavior, evaluate the competition and identify high-potential sales opportunities. Segmentation and analysis also can help profile customers who best fit into your business priorities and those who simply require too much service in relation to how much revenue they generate. Identifying customers who aren’t profitable is just as important as identifying customers who are.
Tracey D. Brown is senior vice president at Direct Impact, an Austin, Texas–based database marketing company. She can be reached at email@example.com or by calling (512) 220-7427.