Getting those above us to betterunderstand and value database marketing Or, in simpler terms: How to effectively ‘sell up’
Database Marketing: Selling Up• What is database marketing? – The analysis and use of data – To then be used to communicate targeted messages to an individual or group of individuals – To measure the response and apply learnings to future communication tactics
Database Marketing: Selling Up• Data comes from a variety of sources – Internal • Personal customer data (name, address, phone, etc.) • Customer transaction data (purchase history) • And more……. – External • Potential customer data (name, address, phone, etc.) • Demographics and/or behavior characteristics • Competitive impact factors • And more…….
Database Marketing: Selling Up• Now wait a minute … this is all pretty basic to each of us, so why go through the description?• Let’s assume not everyone here is fortunate enough to have a management team that understands and values database marketing• Anyone ever have a problem in getting management to understand or embrace the concept?• Most likely at some time most of us have
Database Marketing: Selling Up• How many of us here today are in sales?• If you’re involved with database marketing …. you’re in sales• If you’re trying to expand the use of database marketing within your organization …. you’re in sales• Externally and internally
Database Marketing: Selling Up• You’ve been trying to sell the benefits across your organization• How successful has that been so far?• For those of us here today: – Who got approval with their first effort? – Who faced some pretty big challenges, detours, etc.? – Who is still fighting the battle? – Who’s getting close to giving up?
Database Marketing: Selling Up• Were these challenges related to actual value? – Usually not• Too often it is due to our not illustrating the value and benefits in a manner our management team can easily and directly relate to• We’d be much more successful if we presented the value in the same manner management makes everyday business decisions
Database Marketing: Myth vs. Reality
Database Marketing: Myth vs. Reality• Too often database marketing: – Is viewed as an oxymoron (as in database and marketing don’t go together) – Is used to describe a multitude of efforts that aren’t really database marketing (i.e. if it’s mailed its DBM) – Elicits responses such as: • ‘I’ve heard this before’ • ‘We tried this 2 years ago and it didn’t work’ • ‘Just another ineffective buzzword’ • Or the ever-popular ‘Here we go again’
Database Marketing: Myth vs. Reality• Why is there a such a negative reaction?• Many above us respond with a subconscious negative reaction due to past unproductive efforts – Real and Perceived• Many view it as a term that is: – Too often used – Too easily used to resolve business problems and challenges – An Ineffective Catch-all Phrase
Database Marketing: Myth vs. Reality• Most don’t see it as something that is: – Tangible, effective or real – Important to their business – Executable within their ROI limits• Others believe it has value, but are hesitant because the either: – Don’t understand it and how it can help – Don’t want to take the risk and not succeed• If we want to succeed we need to ‘show them the way’
Database Marketing: Myth vs. Reality• We need to show them how it relates to their everyday business goals• We can only succeed in removing this negative perception by working to ensure our communication directly relates to the thinking of today’s senior executives – The bosses – The higher-ups – Those with the decision-making power
Database Marketing: Myth vs. Reality• In today’s business environment, what key factors management is most often focused on?• For expenses too often the focus is on ‘taking away’ versus ‘adding’ – Cost cutting, staff reductions, page count reductions, resource reallocations and buyouts have become a normal part of their business day• For revenue and profitability the focus is on: – Increasing profitability and financial performance – For public companies it is driving the stock price
Database Marketing: Myth vs. Reality• And sometimes it’s just to make them look good!• So, to successfully illustrate the value of database marketing we need to do a better job of illustrating how the process fits into the ‘taking away’ and ‘increased value’ process• How can we accomplish this?• By focusing on the process versus talking about ‘spending more’, ‘investing more’, etc. – ‘More’ usually ends up being less as it too often leads to ‘NO’
Database Marketing: Myth vs. Reality• We must clearly illustrate the value and importance of this to their business – Within their priorities – With their terminology• Don’t lead with who or how many you’re marketing to, or how much you’ll sell• Focus on who you’re NOT marketing or selling to, and what their value is, therefore saving: – Time – Effort – Investment (i.e. money)
Database Marketing: Myth vs. Reality• Focus on driving value and quantifying an improved ROI – Greater results for the investment already being made – More sales – Better sales and longer term customer relationships – Use the eventual realized savings to grow the business, or return it to the bottom line• Now that’s what your management team wants to hear!
Database Marketing: Myth vs. Reality• Once you have them focused on the ‘improved effectiveness and ROI’ measurement, then outline what is needed to accomplish this• Show them the numbers (the balance sheet is the universal language of management) – Launch and start-up costs are: • Often viewed differently than ongoing program costs • More readily acceptable once there is value buy-in
Database Marketing: Up and Running
Database Marketing: Up and Running• Once you get approval and start moving forward, your selling job has just begun!• You need to provide regular summarized progress reports to the decision-makers to: – Continue to reaffirm the value – Ensure they view it as a necessity to achieving their business goals• Make sure these reports are focused on what drove management’s go-forward decision
Database Marketing: Up and Running• On an ongoing basis illustrate how the strategy is helping achieve their primary business goals
Database Marketing: Up and Running• Never assume once it’s approved it will never be taken away!• Keep focused on managements ongoing business decision-making process – For Expenses • Continuously looking to ‘Take away’ – For revenue and profitability continuously looking to: • Increase profitability and financial performance • For public companies drive the stock price – In general to look good vs. looking bad
Database Marketing: Up and Running• If you do this you’ll position yourself, and your database marketing efforts, to be successful – Immediately – On a long-term basis• Remind yourself to keep selling the value – On an ongoing basis – In a manner that directly relates the management’s decision-making process, goals and objectives
Database Marketing: Up and Running• In conclusion – Don’t talk in ‘database marketing speak’ • Talk in ‘executive decision-making speak’ – Don’t try to push the database marketing boulder up the hill • Find the path of least ‘decision making’ resistance and let gravity take you downhill