Database Marketing: Challenges and Actionable Solutions

By Marianne Chrisos - Last Updated on March 23, 2021
Database Marketing: Challenges and Actionable Solutions

Effective and relevant marketing continues to be a huge focus in business. Marketers now know the importance of paying attention to data and creating messaging that appeals to their target market and more businesses are in fact creating content and strategy around their customer needs and wants rather than creating messaging and then distributing to audiences. Method of distribution based on customer preference is now a priority in marketing campaigns – creating specialized content for social vs. mobile vs. print to help reach the right audience and seem highly relevant and customized.

What is the database marketing process and what can it provide for your business?

Database marketing is part of what makes this possible. According to marketing blog Clevertap, database marketing is defined as, “a form of direct marketing. It involves collecting customer data like names, addresses, emails, phone numbers, transaction histories, customer support tickets, and so on. This information is then analyzed and used to create a personalized experience for each customer or to attract potential customers. Traditional direct marketing involves creating direct mail pieces like brochures and catalogs and mailing them to a list of potential or current customers in the hopes it evokes a positive response. Database marketing takes that strategy a step further by seeking to understand how customers want to be marketed to, and then applying those insights to fulfill the customer’s need via the best channel.”

Essentially database marketing is guided by the customer, rather than just by the business. Data gives marketers the information that helps them create the most meaningful impactful campaign messaging and distribution strategies.

The main challenges of database marketing

As the database is still a relatively new approach to marketing and advertising, some businesses run up against the same common challenges when working through their campaigns.

1. Disparate data

Companies use a lot of sources to collect data. From automated email programs to CRM systems, not every data collection system is collecting the same kind of data points, and things make looking at relevant data as a cohesive set of information difficult. While most people don’t believe that there is such a thing as too much data, if the data isn’t usable or able to be processed, it’s not helpful.

2. Lack of quality data

Data needs to be up to date to be relevant and usable. For instance, your killer email campaign won’t make much of an impact if your data includes incorrect email addresses or titles. It’s important to invest time and resources to make sure that the data being used to create campaigns is current and correct.

3. Resources

Not every marketer is a skilled creative and not every creative is a marketing data expert. If your team isn’t large enough to handle both the strategic and execution side of a marketing campaign, you may not be able to take on the full magnitude of database marketing responsibilities or see the full possible results.

4. Cost

Implementing a one-stop data resource, as well as the human capital needed to run it, can be a huge investment of time and money – one that not every organization is ready to undertake, no matter how beneficial it may be to their marketing. It also includes an investment in gaining leadership and key stakeholder support in order to be successful, and it can be time-consuming to build a case and then wait on leadership approval.

One of the best solutions that help to address many of these database marketing challenges is to start small. You don’t need to have an up and running database marketing solution set up in a week. The longer you take to research and prepare for a database marketing project, the greater your chances for success are. This might mean waiting for approval to build a bigger marketing team or install the right data management, but patience and planning can lead to a big payoff.

Marianne Chrisos | Born in Salem, Massachusetts, growing up outside of Chicago, Illinois, and currently living near Dallas, Texas, Marianne is a content writer at a company near Dallas and contributing writer around the internet. She earned her master's degree in Writing and Publishing from DePaul University in Chicago and has worked in publishing, advertising, digital marketing, and content strategy.

Marianne Chrisos | Born in Salem, Massachusetts, growing up outside of Chicago, Illinois, and currently living near Dallas, Texas, Marianne is a content writer at a c...

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