How To Setup A Marketing Database That Works

Often after launching a website I’m often asked, “how can we use the website in our marketing more effectively?” Often the easiest solution is to help them see results right away is by tapping into their database. This can leave many people confused since database here simply means their marketing database comprising of all their contacts.

So how do you build your marketing database?

First off your marketing database is simply put, your contacts, organized in a way that’s easy to access. For instance your phone has a database of contacts and your Rolodex which holds business cards from other people is also a database albeit paper based. An advanced way of storing your contacts would be using a CRM System which would also be your database.

I like to call this time data time where you get to take care of your most valuable business asset – your database

For our marketing database however the easiest way to store or move our contacts between different systems is by using a simple excel sheet. Our excel sheet would end up of these primary columns: Name, Email and phone. Additional fields that can be included would be Location & Postal Address, these initial fields will be the basis for our entire database.

So how do you find the contacts for the database?

The easiest way to build up the database is simply to simply collate your contacts from your other sources. You can simply type up the names from your Rolodex, Business cards, Visitor books and physical paper records. Your contacts on LinkedIn, Gmail, your CRM and your Email account can also be easily exported in csv format which can be easily added into the excel sheet. Contacts on your Facebook account can also be exported through a work around process.

Additionally if you are able to acquire a targeted list for your products or services consisting of your most ideal potential partners or clients then this list will also become part of your database.

Segmenting the database

Once we have collated our database with all these people we need to make sure that it’s properly segmented. We can segment by creating an extra column(s) on the excel sheet. The advantage of having the extra column over multiple worksheets or excel docs is that it will ease the management of the database and ease the process of moving the contacts between different systems during marketing campaigns latter on.

Our Worksheet can now be segmented depending on the source of the contact for instance *Trade show *Walk-in *Referral *Cold Meet and so on. Additionally the contacts can be segmented by type for instance *Prospect *Client *Past Customer etc The contact could also be segmented by Vertical if it’s a business contact for instance *Medical *Technology *Government *Medical and so on.

The reason for segmenting the list as we’ll see latter on is to be able to craft specific messages and offers to the different segments as well as to be able to ignore a particular segment that should receive a particular message for instance a message only meant for clients and no one else.

How to keep the database growing / how to manage the database

Now that we have our database in place, the next step would be to simply schedule a time each week where we can update the latest new contacts into the database. I like to call this time data time where you get to take care of your most valuable business asset – your database.

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