Our friends at Percepta recently informed us of some interesting information relating to databases. Whether your business uses a customised database, a simple spreadsheet or on-the-shelf software such as Microsoft Access – maintaining databases is important. On a previous blog post we discussed the value of segmenting data for marketing purposes and in particular how databases can be used to assist with this. For instance, data can be segmented based on:
- Demographics (age, gender and location)
- Loyalty (the amount of times the customer engages with your business, total money spent and when last purchased etc)
- Products/services used (what products/services they buy)
- Seasons (most common times of the year when people buy)
The purpose of segmentation is obvious – it will separate your main database into key target groups (demonstrated in the image below) and help to ensure a better allocation of resources regarding marketing spend and deliverables.
After all, why spend time using the same marketing deliverables for customers who only interact once a year with your business? These customers should still receive some engagement from your business but should not receive the same level of engagement as to someone who buys frequently from you.
Now that we have gone over segmentation, we now discuss the importance of maintaining databases. We are sure you may have heard of the saying ‘if content is king, then your database is queen” and it is true. If your database is out-of-date and not maintained regularly, businesses will lose financial viability and suffer intangible losses such as your reputation.
From a financial viability point of view it was found that the average loss of data, over the course of 12 months was approximately 10% of any given database. This may not not sound like a lot, but once you consider the cost of resources such as marketing and after sales campaigns this figure becomes increasingly worrisome.
What about your reputation and image? Don’t be the company who sends communication pieces to people who are deceased! This happens more often than you think and results from the organisation not updating their database. Same goes for change of address details, through personal experience I have seen companies continue to send marketing material to a previous owner – despite informing the company that they no longer lived at that address, the material continued to be sent. As a result, we do not interact with this business, after all if they can’t get their database up-to-date, it doesn’t leave us with much confidence regarding their business operations.
The best strategy for maintaining/updating databases is to:
- Up date the information as soon as you are informed. This makes the process a lot simpler and less daunting as you don’t have to spend a whole day updating databases.
- Limit the number of staff members who can make changes to the database, this helps to minimise the issue of ownership and lack of familiarity with the database, as well as human error!
- Segmentation of data should always be a continuous improvement process. Undertake segmentation reviews of your database at least quarterly – you will often be surprised as to how you can find new ways to segment data!
Cents and Sensibility
Julia Taine, Executive Director of Vent2Me, is a marketing problem solver and mentor. A mover and a shaker, Julia sees a niche in an industry, and takes it, by making it her own. Julia started Vent2Me, because people she knew were struggling with their online presence and their digital strategies. Julia knew she could help these people, and so here she is today.