Through our time together we have covered the sophisticated techniques available in B2B marketing. So far, we have only considered those on the grandest of scales. No doubt some of you will be working in smaller businesses and scratching your head questioning how it's possible to apply these theories to maximise your more limited budgets. Therefore, this month's column is dedicated to just that, effective database marketing for a small business on a small budget. The following steps should be applicable to any company, large or small.
1. Information management: Let's start with the basics whether you are spending thousands or millions of pounds, there are still fundamentals. Crucially, it is all centred on how you manage your information inhouse. Companies tend to hold various pieces of information about customers in different systems, but to gain an overall picture, this data needs to be centralised. Investing a proportion of your marketing budget here is necessary and will pay dividends down the line. Although this sounds simple, consider that different departments may be storing information in bespoke databases; therefore, consolidation creates headaches, and is often a slow process.
2. Formulating a strategy: This will help you avoid data consistency problems going forward and is relatively inexpensive, but does need commitment and focus. The data strategy helps to put data and the customer at the heart of your organisation. Amongst other things, it defines what and how data is collected and how it's maintained dynamically using all touch points and resources to build in quality. If adopted correctly, all of your business information will be held in a unified manner.