The computerization of the business world has not only given us tools to increase efficiency but through the day to day running of our companies has resulted in us collecting an enormous amount of data. Sitting in CRM’s, Accounting and ERP systems and on a collection of spreadsheets data grows organically giving us a wealth of information about our business, customers and prospects – data that in many cases is one of the most valuable assets a business has - an asset that is often ignored.
One example that immediately comes to mind is an Online Retailer that is actively working to increase sales by attracting new customers which of course is no bad thing. But while this effort is their main focus the information they have collected from those customers who have already registered on their site is not being used. They are data rich, they know when and what these customers have bought, what their area of interest is, how they paid and their chosen delivery method. But the online retailer is not communicating with their customers at all – they are working on the assumption that they will come back to the site on their own accord without any nudging required.
But let’s look at some major retailers. If it was that easy would Marks and Spencer email me regularly with details of new arrivals with links to their site? Would GAP send me an email on Boxing Day to tell me about their £10 jumper sale in all their stores across the UK? Would ads pop up on my screen when I go online reminding me that I had been looking at a certain item on a particular site to remind me to go back and buy? Would retailers whom I have purchased from before send me Direct Mail with offers on ‘like’ items? They do not rely on me – they remind me that they are there, they tempt me with offers and products, they communicate with me on my terms knowing what, where and how I like to shop.
It does not really matter what business you are in using the data you already own in effective marketing campaigns can greatly increase the number of transactions from existing customers. If you look carefully at your data you will see it holds a wealth of information about the life blood of your business – customers – and in today’s world you can affordably communicate with each and every one with their own personalised message using what you know about them to deliver the right message at the right time. This turns your direct marketing initiatives into meaningful sales conversations a very powerful tool to use when focusing on increasing sales and that is something we all want to see.