Creating a B2B Marketing Database:
10 Straightforward Steps To Reach
Success In A Complex Project

Arturo F Munoz Open QuoteThe whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.

-- Charles Dickens

STEP 1 - Get Religious: Stop Thinking Of Creating A B2B Marketing Database

In this series I'm not going to explain why creating a B2B marketing database makes sense to improve your business relations with another business. Nope. You can go here for that.

What I'm about to present to you is a step-by-step guide on how to undertake a marketing database creation project for a large enterprise, where complexity is king.

If your interests are in creating a marketing database for a small company, I will be publishing a second series aimed at this business space soon, where several alternatives exist in light of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), often known as cloud computing services.

Let's begin.

One Creed, One Database? Hardly.

b2b marketing database tablesSome things you must have deep convictions for. Creating a business-to-business or B2B marketing database is one of them. So take the next statement seriously. The first step in creating a B2B marketing database is to forget that you're after creating a B2B marketing database. You read that right! Trust me. If you stumble over this one, you will never recover. Here's why.

A database is an abstraction; therefore, it is intangible. What you see on a projector screen, on a print out, on a computer monitor is only the use of that database – an application of the data to a specific business situation.

But that view, that snapshot, that report is not the database itself, because the database can take many forms – the data can have many applications in the mind of the one who needs it. When you utter the phrase "marketing database", it conjures up all kinds of pictures in the eye of the listener – pretty pictures and scary pictures too.

Because of the subjectivity that is involved in dealing with databases, the last thing that you want to do is attempt to create an object that others will perceive as being only what they defined it to be and not what it is meant to be for everyone. So don't go there. Don't go for creating a B2B marketing database. Instead, just like any zealous missionary, work first on proselytizing a following.

Gather disciples, not bricks for a cathedral. Indoctrinate your followers to adopt the same suppositions about this concept of a marketing database. Ensure they come to see the same object the same way, by expecting from it the same use. Preach only one way to salvation. It's like religion, and you need coverts.

Want Paradise? Picture The Pearly Gates

Conversion is not sufficient, however. This religion is practical. No hermits allowed. The common objective is to achieve a precise, tangible and strategic long-term business goal. Name your target and be specific. For example, your business wants 30% increase in customer retention in 2 years or 25% decrease is contact attrition in 3 years or 40% target accounts penetration in 4 years, or 25% more market coverage in industry X in 5 years, etc.

What if you got many business goals? Then prioritize them. Grab the top 10. Focus on the top 2, else narrow down to the top 5 and focus on the top one. Simple. Simple to understand, that is. It's another thing to get it done. But get it done you must.


Well, first you must have a reason to begin with. That means you must...
  • Craft a reason to initiate and, more importantly for later, to maintain a dialogue for several months with upper management and IT on the benefits of reaching the long-term business objectives that you gathered through your disciples.

Then you must...
  • Argue that the benefits are within reach only with the availability of very specific information with which to make decisions about improving efficiency and effectiveness in the marketing operation.

Get There Through The Straight And Narrow

Positioning is everything. So, remember above all things this: You’re not after creating a B2B marketing database. You don't even want to mention it. Also you don't want the information that it can produce to make decisions with. No, friend. You don't want all that baggage. You want to travel lean and mean. What you want is this: You want to make the right business decisions. That's all.

You're making decisions right now. Every day you're making decisions. You just don't know if they're the right ones. Get me? Without knowing this, you're exposing the company to risk. You're exposing yourself to risk. This is not affordable risk over the long-run. So you need a way to mitigate company and personal risk, by making correct decisions.

See? It’s not about creating a B2B marketing database. It’s about making right decisions regardless of the tool that can help you make them.

That's how you win this deal!

Ask for a B2B marketing database per se at your own peril. Don't ask for a hammer. Say that you need to decide whether tile is better than shingles for a roof that needs to withstand a foreseeable storm about to hit your boss' house, and then say that the wrong decision will mean an empty tin can sitting atop the new plasma screen TV collecting water in the living room on Christmas Day.

Do this and you will get an expert construction crew assigned to you, which is exactly what you will need to make this commercial B2B marketing database abstraction a reality for your company.

So, let's move on to STEP 2 - Promise The Future, Deliver The Present.

Return to By Their Customer Database Ye Shall Know Them from Creating a B2B Marketing Database - Step 1

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