This is the fourth article in an ongoing series on database marketing strategy designed to outline an approach to understanding the details of building a world-class database marketing system, regardless of whether you are an expert in analytics or technology.
One of the fundamental components of any database marketing effort is the value of the data contained in your marketing database. Content management, when applied to database marketing strategy, is a new term used to bring forward an innovative approach to the list industry that capitalizes on state-of-the-art database marketing techniques.
Why do you need content management? Too many marketers are handcuffed by the availability of the seemingly endless quantity of lists and an inability to empirically know which lists and what variables are important to their marketing initiatives.
Enter the content management process. It serves to close this knowledge gap by allowing marketers to effectively access the best lists, objectively look at the data within the lists, and measure the real impact the data have on marketing.
The content management process consists of three steps:
Step 1: Access all available data. Marketers should invest a considerable amount of time and effort in researching all possible sources of information. When all available and appropriate data are included from the start, you will realize better results in your marketing programs.
Step 2: Evaluate these data based on their marketing value. A fundamental premise of content management is the idea that data need to have clear predictive, descriptive, or business value in order to be contained within your marketing infrastructure. If your data do not providing one of these three values, they are simply taking up space and not adding value.
Step 3: Integrate into your infrastructure only the content – that is, the data that have proven value. When the right content is integrated, your infrastructure will contain only the data, such as demographic, transactional, credit, and lifestyle information, which are relevant. This will give you a more complete view of your prospect in a single location.
Not surprisingly, this process requires an extensive amount of effort, industry knowledge, expertise, resources, and planning to complete and produce the desired results. But marketers who can access all of their data, assess their value, and integrate only the right data will realize increased ROI on their marketing efforts.
Scott Cone is a vice president and client leader for Lanham, MD-based database marketing firm Merkle.