Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Is your database built on quicksand?

I've got 5m names on my email database!  Well, I've got 10m on mine!  We've all heard the boasts of having humongous prospect databases without being backed up by any similar boasts about performance. Whether you are an email list owner or a blue-chip brand with a enquirer file - the problem remains the same.  In times of need when you email said database to generate revenue on a penny broadcast basis, it still returns a pitiful amount of value for the effort.  You can test all the subject lines, times of day and creative treatments in the world but if your database if not highly engaged with your brand it won't make a blind bit of difference.

So honestly ask yourself the question - Is your database built on quicksand?  Are you constantly topping up whilst the bottom falls out of it every month?  This strategy of diminishing returns can't go on forever!

In the case of databases, size simply doesn't matter.  The boast should be 'I've got a database that generates 10k customers for me/my clients every month!  Care about the size of the return not the number of random email addresses on file. This is something Groupon perfectly exemplifies as a marketing machine.  Their model tells them exactly how many customers they deliver for their advertisers every month. It is the role of the advertiser to package up the right incentives and margins to create long term value from the campaigns.

So try to change the mindset away from size of database towards size of return.  This focus will help build the proper foundations for a database judged on engagement and value. Then pretty soon you'll be boasting about its performance but never its size.

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