Can A Marketing Database Save Your Marketing Career?

Arturo F Munoz Open QuoteTo become a great strategist, you have to put your mind in the mud of the marketplace. You have to find your inspiration down at the front, in the ebb and flow of the great marketing battles taking place in the mind of the prospect.

-- Jack Trout

Marketing Database"Where did my marketing job go?"

This wasn't a quip from a recently laid off marketer. This was a demoralized cry from a marketing director I knew, whose VP assigned her the creation of a marketing database – a project that sucked her down a rabbit hole like Alice on her way to Wonderland.

Twelve months after her assignment, her traditional world had turned upside down.

What went wrong?

She delivered. That did it.

Forcing Change Builds Careers

Nothing will snuff the life out of a traditional 20th-Century marketing career quicker than delivering a marketing database. Nothing will resurrect it into the 21st-Century faster either. Database marketing projects, done well, are a radical force of change, especially if nothing else already exists in the company to compete against it.

From this single source of information customer acquisition and retention strategies can receive their birth right or death warrant. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plans can discover their basis or lose their foundations depending on findings from such a tool.

You can strike gold mining for marketing inside a well-structured database system. So figuring out whether a database serves to unify or fragment a marketing organization requires little imagination.

The tool is there to rock the status quo at every step. Its creation is what requires vision, dexterity and tenacity, while the system's value readily proves itself, especially if you're working already in a chaotic or feudal environment.

Getting Medieval

Yes, I said 'feudal'. Your need for a database diminishes significantly if your organization is already operating as if everyone was getting a paycheck from the same boss.

But if you work for an operation whose activities routinely look like the last 30 minutes on the main deck of the Titanic, first you need to understand some fundamentals of corporate governance before going any further, because therein lies the key to your success in deploying a database solution for marketing. In this case, you need to get going in the creation of one for your company.

But before jumping too far ahead, let's start with definitions. What do I mean by the term 'marketing database'? It's not likely what you're thinking.

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