A fully integrated marketing database is the foundation for successful direct marketing. Today’s marketers have more data from more channels than ever before – making a database even more necessary. All direct marketing channels (email, direct mail, telephone sales, mobile, etc.) create greater volumes of data and add more complexity to each respective source coercion of each system to effectively manage its own data in an increasingly complex way. As each system, such as e-commerce, ESP, fulfillment, loyalty, web analytics, etc., grows in complexity, the need for marketing data integration across all data systems and sources grows even faster. The ability of a single, individual system to manage and integrate data from other systems is inherently lacking. By definition, each system for its own specialized purpose does not work to facilitate and optimize marketing.
Therefore, the need for a fully integrated marketing database capable of continuously managing vital marketing data from nonsense silos is greater than ever. It serves as the essential means of integrating all this data; and to keep that data in pristine condition, maintained in a perpetually actionable state. ESP, e-commerce and fulfillment systems may be able to specify their data integration capabilities. However, many marketers know from painful experience that such claims are erroneous. An ESP is not a marketing database. An eCommerce platform is not a marketing database. A web analytics platform is not a marketing database. Only a marketing database is a marketing database.
If the following does not characterize the database you are using for marketing, you do not have a fully integrated marketing database:
Reliable data – your data is accurate and reliable in pristine condition
Available data-easy access via a web-based application, intuitive and built for marketers
Fresh data – your data is always current and up to date
Integrated data – all direct marketing data, both offline and offline, seamlessly integrated together
Customer and prospect / acquisition data is in a unified, integrated database
Your data can be used and is always ready for use; it is not a project that gathers all your data together
Your direct marketing data management is routine, predictable, repeatable and automated; not ad hoc
The marketing department can use and manage its data without thinning your IT group
Your data is integrated at the unique individual, household, address, email and phone number level – and any other level needed to support marketing needs.
Multi-channel direct marketing is easy and integrated
Ability to run counts and extract lists in minutes
You can analyze your marketing data dynamically and on-the-fly
Frequency, frequency, monetary (RFM) data is at your fingertips
All suppression data is accurately controlled across all channels and all touch points
Demographic, lifestyle and prediction models are integrated into your marketing database
You can derive meaningful marketing data from your existing raw data and act on it
Customized reports for marketing management are at your fingertips
As your needs evolve, new sources, such as social or web analytics, can be integrated into the database
Custom business rules are routinely applied to your data that can be customized as your business changes
Promotion history is tracked and easily used; marketing “touch” data can be used to analyze, execute an optimal contact strategy and facilitate the right mix of multi-channel marketing
For prospect data, marketing data elements and history can be utilized; Touch data has proven to be one of the most predictable data elements for exploration
The bottom line: Only a marketing database is a marketing database.