Why Marketing Databases Fail
Including the marketing personnel who will ultimately use the database is critical. One of the biggest reasons why databases fail, says Grossman, is that most users don't test the user access tool before they decide who is going to develop and design the database.
"Speed isn't an issue. Most users find [the database] isn't as easy to use as the designer says it is," she continues, noting that if users can't figure out what they need to do to obtain answers to their marketing questions, the database won't be used.
Success is an attitude
Another part of the problem, adds Greenglass, is that "marketers are too tech-focused and have not addressed the cultural change needed for a successful database marketing program. Having a database won't do anything if you are going about your marketing the same way."
"A database is a tool, but if it was a tool you never used before, you wouldn't just wake up one morning and automatically use it," explains Greenglass. "You have to get users to use it. Figure out what motivators will get them to use it. For example, what was driving the need for it in the first place?"
Looking at something from a customer perspective may be something new and different for a company, elaborates David Schneider, executive vice president of consulting and education at NuEdge Systems, a customer relationship management solutions provider based in Milwaukee, WI.
For a database marketing program to succeed, a company needs to understand the value of a customer and to view its database as an asset. "The shift in mentality required is like moving from a horse and buggy to a motor car," explains Schneider.
Marketers always want more customers, but often do not realize the opportunity in their database, says Schneider. "It costs less to increase their [dollar] spend than to acquire new customers. Too many [marketers] don't drill into what is already there."