Database Governance – the First Step to Ensure Marketing Success

October 25th, 2010

We recently embarked on a project that required a vast database consolidation to help a client manage their customer relationship management (CRM) initiatives as well as support a range of drip marketing and lead generation campaigns. The project included migrating four databases into one.  It also entailed mapping our client’s workflow processes in order to ensure contact details were consistently managed. From a technical perspective, the migration was easy.  The challenge, however, was normalizing the database so that all records were properly categorized, segmented and tagged.

After several years of neglect, personnel turnover, and lack of training and database controls, the client’s 20,000-record database was in disarray.  Contact details were incomplete or outdated, making it difficult to manage email campaigns and track performance.  As a result, customer service was not optimal and marketing programs proved to be lackluster at best.

Working with executive management as well as the sales and marketing teams, Springboard helped restructure the database and categorized each record as a suspect, prospect, client or partner.  We then tagged each record with the types of products and services they either have (as a customer) or are a target for (as a suspect or prospect).  This allows the marketing team to segment the database and create targeted campaigns to cross-sell and up-sell.  Additionally, drop-down menus for lead source and industry sector were created.

Database governance not only requires a strategy and blueprint to structure your data, but also involves configuring it with required fields in order to capture the information that is important to your business.  Additionally, the need for an internal database champion is recommended to ensure consistency and compliance.

While this project appears to be technical in scope, all of the aforementioned activities were driven from marketing discussions. Take the time to visualize your marketing strategy and configure the database accordingly.

Since the migration, our client is experiencing a significant uptick in inbound marketing activity.  Its email campaigns are achieving record open and conversion rates, and new leads are percolating more frequently.  Most importantly, sales personnel are in the best position to manage customer relationships and cultivate new opportunities.

It all starts with structuring your database and utilizing technology to automate your marketing programs.

Domenick Cilea

Domenick founded Springboard in 1995. When he is not working on marketing, PR, branding or content strategy, Domenick can be found in a gym, on the road or pool training to survive his next triathlon.

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