Jeff Williams

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

Many organizations are effectively using databases to track and manage their sales results. But often these databases are not designed for other marketing purposes. Because most organizations are sales-driven, it makes sense that most IT investments in databases would focus on recording transactions and sales. However, there are important differences between a sales database and an overall marketing database that can impact how data is collected and stored, and how it can be utilized to help you make marketing decisions.

Data units mined from social networking sites often can be more difficult to categorize than the usual demographic information direct marketers collect in their data mining expeditions. However, keeping the minefield for data mining in mind, social networking sites are still replete with veins of consumer-insight gold. According to experts, marketers should extract that treasure, but carefully.

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