These days, common performance metrics, such as lead conversions, email open and click rates, ad impressions and others give marketers and executives some idea of campaign effectiveness. But as the number of marketing channels expands and integrated strategies grow more complex, these measures don’t provide a holistic view of customer behaviors and interactions with the brand.
What’s needed, says Cassandra Liu, in Target Market Magazine, is an integrated database or data warehouse that’s built from the ground up to unlock and reveal new, actionable insights that inform strategy, drive response and increase marketing ROI.
To create a high-performing integrated marketing database design for your small business, follow these steps outlined in Ms. Liu’s article:
Identify Objectives. Knowing what you want to accomplish and why helps you prioritize and allocate resources, and identify appropriate data sources and attributes. For example, if topline goals include monitoring referrals or brand awareness, include data gleaned from social media. If you seek to prove marketing’s impact on response or ROI, consider including post-campaign purchase/transaction data in the mix.
Evaluate Data and Gaps. Questions to ask, says Liu, include: What data can you currently access? What formats is it in–CSV, Excel, video, PDF, Word? Where is it stored? Knowing this information will save time and also help you identify beneficial data you need but don’t have.
Acquire Needed Data. Your marketing goals and data-management practices will dictate whether appending with third-party data is necessary. Demographics and firmographic information, service area/neighborhood data and email addresses, for example, are easily obtained from outside vendors. Capturing new, additional or specialty data, however, may require implementing new practices or technologies.
Select a Structure. If you’re not overly technical, Liu recommends working closely with IT staff or attending Big Data conferences to better understand available database structuring options. Being clear about data sources, desired formats and marketing goals will help you identify the right approach, says Liu.
Maintain Quality. Nothing undermines direct marketing like missing, inaccurate, incomplete or otherwise ‘dirty’ data. Being vigilant and maintaining high quality standards will help streamline integration of your new database and improve overall results.
For even more useful data-management insights, see our previous post entitled “Big Data, Big Results for Integrated Marketers.”