How A Marketing Agency Can Influence The Direction Of A Client's Marketing Database Initiative
Leadership is influence. -- John C. Maxwell
If you run a B2B marketing agency, you might have encountered more than once the dreadful prospect of having to spend your client's money on a potential dud promotion because you had no insight into the client's contacts base.
You're not alone. Many marketing organizations do not depend or have a marketing database.
So you've likely received that deer in the headlights stare to questions like how big is your contacts list? How fresh is your data? What business titles make up most of your list? What industries are represented in your database?
"Um, what database?"
Well, you might be able to help define a reasonable communications strategy for your client. You may provide killer creative and lively copy. But all kinds of rich media will go to waste if you deliver it to the wrong target audience.
How can you help your client hit the mark on an ongoing basis?
Marketing agencies have a superb opportunity to influence the direction of a marketing database project. Often the agency has the breadth of understanding about how crucial the database truly is to the success of any campaign. Yet not enough of them can elaborate on how to put such a system together.
Your key as a marketing agency lies in convincing the client to test the results of going blind vs. going smart at campaigning. Unless your agency specializes in delivering database marketing services, you're best served by proving to your client the concept of Progressive Profiling.
Progressive Profiling is Also Database Marketing
Progressive Profiling is the process of collecting information incrementally about your contacts with every marketing interaction that they participate in. At first you may ask a minimum of information to build the basis of a contact profile for every individual who registers interest in your promotional offers. But you proceed to ask for additional information over time in little bits.
How much information? Ask just as much as you need to initiate another round of fresh and relevant interaction with the respondent, but no more than the Sales department needs to engage in an effective face-to-face discussion with key individuals. Remember: Bit by bit is the key.
Progressive profiling can be done in spreadsheets, if you organize the steps logically up front, though I recommend a more streamlined approach than Excel. Nevertheless, it is by demonstrating the mounting impact of incremental intelligence that as a marketing agency you may be able to convince a client that building a database is more than critical. It's indispensable.
And with Progressive Profiling you would have documented already a sequence of steps that may be easily replicated through some technology platform of choice within your client's premises or as an outsourced solution. This guidance will make you more than a vendor and rather a partner in marketing operations for your client.
At some point you might want to graduate to educating your client on how to outsource the marketing database. In that case you should carefully consider the Software-as-a-Service or SaaS model as a viable option for your client to automate
a marketing operations process. But all this requires estimating a return on the SaaS investment.
to get some pointers on the matter.
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