Database marketing: A beginners guide to basic and benefits


Database marketing is a customer-centered form of marketing that focuses on personalized communication with your company’s audience. Using it can help your business’s marketing campaigns be more effective and efficient, as well as enable you to develop a better relationship with your customers. Here’s everything you need to know to get started.

The basics of database marketing

Let’s start with the evident question: what is database marketing? In its most simple form, database marketing targets those customers or potential customers that you already have contact information for. It uses the data you have on those people to personalize your communications with them in the way that best addresses their individual needs. For example, the emails you send to customers on your database could be adjusted to suit their age, location, gender or purchase history.

The benefits

Database marketing can bring a whole heap of benefits to your business. These days most people already expect a personalized experience with the brands they interact with, and cold calls are swiftly becoming a thing of the past. Building a relationship with your customers is vital, and a great way to boost their loyalty to your company. 

Database marketing enables you to understand what your customers’ wants and needs are and respond appropriately. It can also make your marketing more efficient, as you won’t be wasting time and money targeting people who are unlikely to be interested in the product or service you’re offering. By sending your customers messages, content, or promotions that are relevant to them, you make people feel that your company is more trustworthy and doesn’t spam them with generic junk content.

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The challenges in database marketing

There are issues to be mindful of when it comes to database marketing. The main one is that your data must be kept accurate and up to date for it to be effective. Every time someone gets a new phone number or email address, moves to a new house or job, or changes their name, the data you have on them needs updating. As such, data maintenance is a key part of database marketing. By regularly cleaning your data, you can remove or fix errors and ensure you’re using the information you hold in the most efficient manner possible. You must also make sure that you respect customer privacy and adhere to any relevant legislation.

Getting started

The first step is to collect the required data. The sort of information you’re looking for can include:

  • Demographic data (e.g. age, gender, address, etc.)
  • Purchase history (e.g. what they’ve bought from you, how much they spend, etc.)
  • Activity data (e.g. how they interact with your website, social media, etc.)
  • Loyalty program data
  • Customer survey responses
  • Campaign response history (e.g. which of your marketing campaigns have they previously responded to and how, etc.)

The second step is to use this data to segment your customers and target them with the appropriate marketing campaigns. This could be by sending out discount coupons to customers who haven’t made a purchase in a while or only emailing customers about products that are directly relevant to them.

When it comes down to it, it’s always a good move for a business to adopt a customer-centric approach – no matter how big they are, or what industry they work in. So next time you’re planning your marketing campaigns, be sure to include database marketing as part of your strategy.

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