Are you Doing the Data Hokey-Cokey?
You put your tick box in;
You take your tick box out;
In Out, In Out – Shake it all about;
You do the Data Hokey-Cokey;
And you turn yourself around;
That’s what it’s all about….
OOOOOOoooo The Hokey Cokey
Although you’re now humming what has to be one of the life’s most annoying songs, it does raise a serious question around data; the use and storage of data and how to use data successfully to improve your business.
At every point of customer interaction there are questions asked of clients and data to capture: Opt-in Opt-Out, Cookies On – Cookies Off, Contact me via email, telephone, mail, text, ALL or none of the above. How far and how much should you push it when seeking to obtain client information to avoid a backlash – it is a legal and moral minefield – but one that when managed correctly is a route to wealth and income generation for any organisation and a way to actually engage your clients with a positive brand experience.
What is the answer? Well how long is a piece of string, it depends on the organisation, the product and service of course, but here are a few pointers:
- Slowly – Slowly A little bit at a time. There is nothing more off-putting for a new client particularly in a Retail/Consumer environment to have to complete metaphorical ‘reams’ of forms in order to buy a basic product or gift. Payment details and an autofilled delivery address (using a PAF based product) is quick, easy and less likely to frustrate approach. Leave it there – get the product out get it delivered then send a thank you. Certainly, do NOT start bombarding the client with daily emails. Let them get to know you first before you start phase 2 of customer engagement. Accurate and
- Accessible Data: The accurate collation of data in a cross- organisational, structured manner allows for readily accessible data which allows for easy analysis. All too often organisations run multiple databases, managed departmentally under a bunker mentality. Remember, the organisation owns the data, not sales, or marketing or membership, or operations, or finance. Successful organisations have one goal in mind and understanding your data is the key to achieving it. A truly
- client focused approach to the data management includes all of the touch points from marketing, sales interaction, delivery and returns and accounts as well as product feedback and client services. Allowing your client a clear flexible, easily accessible method of interacting with you, but above all provides them the media of their choice, to contact you. Your outbound marketing should follow that same media as a general rule. If I want email communication – send it to me. If I want a letter or statement – send it to me – don’t penalise me for it by charging me more, where’s the customer choice in that?
- Keep it Fresh – Data Mining and Cleansing Be bold – Your data is the profit creator as well not a drain on finance if not managed correctly. You invest in new products, new services, new equipment, upgrades to premises, but what investment do you make in your database, it is the critical tool which must be fully maintained cleaned and remain current.
At any one point your data is like an apple, the central core of data is solid it contains the seeds of growth for the next generation of business. The outer fruit is the current cash generator, but this largest mass of the fruit is the bit that is more fickle, they have tasted your product but have not fully bought into the core ideology and brand with total allegiance. This section of your client base can easily be bitten away by a competitor leaving a chunk missing. The skin of your apple is the shop front, a shiny fresh, polished and attractive exterior is the attraction for new business – “Come Take a Bite” taste the crisp, fresh and juicy brand; Ignore the other battered, bruised, dull and dated brands on the shelf. Refreshing your appeal is the challenge and managing your data and targeting the right message to the appropriate segment of your data at the right time is the key.
Of course, marketing above the line is driven from knowledge of your data too. Who are they, where are they, what are their patterns. Understanding this means you understand where future customers will come from. There’s that database again! Marketing is a science that drives art – Not art that drives science.
We love creative, we love the image, great content and copy, but messages must be sent to the appropriate audience based on analysis of the likes and patterns of those segmented groups. Creative that has the ability to provide one underlying message across a varied audience is a skill that pulls on data first, that drives the message that creates the copy. Otherwise, your dancing the hokey-cokey in the dark – and that’s risky!
So doing the data hokey-Cokey and managing your data can feel like a constant dance, and can often feel as tiresome as joining in the Hokey-Cokey at ‘that’ party – it requires massive effort but once you’re in it you have a good time. Don’t be an onlooker join in, it’s the cool crowd that don’t take part mocking but who will end up with egg on their face?
Romax Marketing & Distribution, a Greenwich-London based company, provides a wide range of services in Direct Marketing for B2B and B2C, Direct Mail, Data Management, Printing, Discount Postage and Membership Communication Services and Consultancy. Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0) 20 8293 8550
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