database marketing, n. \’dā-tə-bās ‘mä r-kə-tiŋ\
Do you have a list of your customers’ emails? A mailing list of customer addresses? A bunch of names scribbled on a piece of paper?
If you do, you have data, and data has powerful marketing potential—if you know how to use it.
Organized in a spreadsheet, your data becomes a database. Ideally, you build a database populated with customers’ name, address and/or email address, and transaction history pulled from your website (with customers’ permission, of course!). Add some careful analysis, also called “data mining”, and you begin to develop models of customer behavior, which you then can use to tailor communications.
For example, a shoe store could track transactions to personalize emails for customers who purchased different categories of shoes:
- Customers who bought running shoes would receive emails about the importance of replacing your shoes to protect your joints, and a reminder when it’s time for a new pair.
- Customers who purchased a pair of high heels would receive an email update on the latest season’s trends, and alerts when relevant designers release new styles.
- Customers who shopped your last three sales would likely appreciate insider information when your next sale starts—and maybe a selection of sale shoes in their size.
The possibilities are endless, but your goal is to use data to build relationships: to send them information they want and need, rather than spamming them with offers of no interest. You show your customers how much you value your relationship, and your customers find value in your products and services. THAT is the power of database marketing.