Finding marketing gems in your contact management database

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You’ve identified the need to better manage your company’s data, you’ve done all the research and selected a Customer Relationship Management system, you’ve entered your data, and your staff has been comfortably using it for a few months or more. What now? Over time your CRM can accumulate some very valuable information, ready for analysis and optimization.

Whether you are using your contact management database for sales and marketing purposes, to handle staff or supplier records, or to record donations or ticket sales, you can certainly benefit from taking a closer look at the detailed information contained within the system.

In the days before so much data was able to be collected digitally, marketers may have had to set up surveys or arrange focus groups to help define customer needs or identify trends or purchase patterns. Now a wealth of information is right at your fingertips, ready to support planning processes and decision-making! Consider “mining” the data within your contact database to uncover useful “gems” that will advance your company’s business.

For example, a retail company could take a look at what time of year most property purchases are closed, or determine which geographic region contains residents most responsive to buying opportunities.  The more you know about the preferences of your contacts, the better you can serve them. Some of that insight can be applied to strategic email marketing campaigns, or for planning successful promotional events.

To effectively take advantage of the wealth of information contained within your CRM, you must have a system with a robust search capability. Contact Boss allows you to find anyone in seconds, with a partial name, event name or date, or descriptor and can even find your contact by the detailed notes like date of entry or where you met.  Contact Boss also offers a very user-friendly interface, resulting in records that are often more current and complete than found in those systems where users resist complex forms and processes.

Classify data

What are some ways you can optimize the data in your contact management system? Firstly, you can gather a “full picture” of each customer or contact—their name, contact details or geographic location, when they first entered your system, what interactions have taken place since—and capture an up-to-date report on their current status i.e. stage in the sales funnel, commitments made, expectations yet to be fulfilled.

Using the information contained within your CRM you can then begin to categorize your record set according to job title, response rate, demographic data or more.

Perhaps your market intelligence tells you that the residents of a neighborhood of growing families are most likely to be in the market for new housing – your contact database can easily sort your records to allow you to reach the contacts who reside in that area. As well, you can determine the residents of which postal codes have similar characteristics and subsequently use your CRM to pull contacts in those neighborhoods for additional reach.

Maybe you are ready to reach out to all contacts who have been identified as being at a certain stage in the sales funnel. Using the notes or classifications in the CRM you can sort your data, build a contact list and develop a message to bring them to the next stage.

More targeted campaigns

From looking at the holistic view of your contacts, and determining the most effective categorizations or clusters, it is relatively straightforward to then develop effective campaigns that reach individual customers with messages that are designed specifically for them. With your CRM data, you can analyze purchase or contact patterns, understand which outreach materials were most effective, and create customer profiles or personas.

As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, we can all agree that everyone is bombarded daily by a vast amount of marketing messages, from the moment we turn on the phone in the morning to the last email we check at night. Marketers are quickly becoming aware that each message has to count; the most effective communications are properly formulated and targeted for the intended audience. Consumers expect nothing less! The best way to achieve this is to take a close look at the data and personalize communication according to the insights gained through data analysis. Your customers will come to realize that you do understand their needs and interests. Fortunately, the digital age allows for automation of most of these processes and there are sophisticated email marketing tools that can be employed to target contacts with tailored messaging.  Contact Boss offers seamless integration which facilitates the export of data to other email tools such as MailChimp or Constant Contact.

Of course, the results of each targeted campaign should be analyzed, along with email response rates and website traffic, in order that the next outreach can be refined still further.

Your CRM contains an abundance of information, just waiting to be “mined.” To ensure you are best equipped to optimize your data you should first be certain that you have the CRM software best suited to your needs. There are so many options, but take a look at this article to help simplify the decision making.

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A consummate communicator, Carol Horne has undertaken a variety of content creation projects over the past few decades. She supplied, assigned and edited copy for the majority of Tourism PEI’s consumer content. She led the marketing team at Confederation Centre where she developed marketing and communications strategies to enhance awareness and generate revenue for the theatre, gallery, restaurant and gift shop. In her role as Chief Marketing Officer she oversaw the development and execution of marketing, graphic design, social media, communications and PR, sales, development and guest services activity plans. As manager of the Canadian Tourism Commission’s online media centre and the US consumer E-Newsletter she was in charge of creating and curating Canada’s tourism promotion content.

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