The Running Commentary

The value of data and a simplified approach to getting it right….

dataMany companies have or will face the issue of data at sometime in their life cycle. Typically data is reserved for the transactional elements (Statements and Accounts) and is usually fiercely protected by the IT departments. Marketing is happy to let this status quo run as they feel that they are delivering campaigns that enhance the business and “anyway nobody really read the junk mail that they receive”.The truth is that targeted campaigns (even those that are poorly targeted) will always deliver more value. This debate I will not hold here, but am happy to debate at some other point.

The post is to show a simplified approach to starting a data driven marketing process.

The most important ingredient in terms of a targeted campaign is your data source. The most valuable data source is that one that you already own. To coin a phrase that is used often: It is 20 times more expensive to gain a client than it is to retain and grow a client. Data mining is something that every corporate needs to be doing.

So now the very simple process:

1) Invest – Department (set up a department, may consist of one person who will “own” the data enhancement process.)
2) Invest – Equipment (get the right equipment to enable the process)
3) Invest – Time( to check, evaluate and re-check your results)
4) Invest – Consultation (with data experts who can assist in this process)
5) Invest – Partnerships (with creative businesses who can develop campaigns – these are not to be confused with design agencies!)

Get to know the value of data by beginning with test campaigns, understand the process of analytics (evaluating campaign results), begin small. Remember that the results are completely measurable and therefore completely transparent. Targeted campaign programs are not for the faint hearted as they will expose failure. More importantly though they will bring results.

The key to unlocking the value of data is to understand data, this does not mean that you need to be a data expert (although this will definitely help!), all you need to do is build the right core around which your data enhancement process is enabled.

With this process enabled you will be able to redefine your marketing effort and bring serious value to your company.

As a final thought this process is not limited by the scale of the company, unlike many tradional above the line approaches, who from a price point of view are very often out of the range of the average company.

campaignDataDatabaseDirect MarketingMarketing

Mike • August 28, 2008

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