I’m constantly amazed how little attention companies pay to their customer database……
Often these same companies pay a fortune for marketing companies to deliver their newsletters and promotions, but pay no attention to the accuracy of the email addresses they’re delivered to.
One company I visited paid to have a monthly e-newsletter designed and delivered. This didn’t allow for the costs to the company of supplying the marketing material. When we checked their database many of the emails were out of date or had no address at all. Often they were actively trading with these same companies.
Why was this?
• They relied on the sales team to send any updated addresses into the office. In my experience sales people don’t appreciate the value in this function even though it will enable them to sell more. They prefer to focus on closing the next sale which is not necessarily a bad thing!
• The person responsible for updating the list also didn’t understand the value. They’re probably very busy and it never became enough of a priority.
• There was no foolproof system in place to update, populate and expand the list.
It isn’t rocket science it just needs some attention!
• The costs of the campaigns were given the costs of the campaigns and the value to the sales function
• Sales team went through their smart phones and sales notes and updated the list.
• A part time lady was employed to ring every customer and prospect on the database to update the info.
• A simple CRM system was installed which integrated with all the sales team’s smart phones to enable updates on the move.
• An active program via industry directories and social media (especially LinkedIn) was instigated.
Original list: 2,500 contacts
After cleaning and removing duplicates: 700
After adding sales team’s contacts: 820
After focused telephone efforts: 980
After 3 months work with relevant industry directories (They also had to be cleaned!) and social media: 1,100
They now have an audience of 1,100 interested and engaged customers and prospects and they get meaningful results from their marketing campaigns.
Working with the CRM and purging after email campaigns will ensure the database remains up to date. Active social media will grow the list.
Even with this in place I would still recommend an annual, focussed telephoning initiative where at least all existing customers are called for updated details. Even the CRM is fallible especially as it still relies on the sales team updating.
A simple CRM is a great tool and at a cost in the region of £45 per month (and some are even free!) for three salesmen is certainly a worthwhile investment.
This company is now engaging on all levels with its target market and the monthly marketing investment is starting to pay dividends.
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