When responses are slow to materialise it’s tempting to search for the one big marketing miracle that can somehow transform the fortunes of the business – that one tactic, tool or strategy that can accelerate your marketing responses into the stratosphere. But in the real business to business world, savvy marketers know that being brilliant at the basics is the way forwards.

And it all starts with data to die for.

Let’s look under the lid of a typical small medium business to business database.

In all likelihood the database will have been built on an ongoing basis as more clients are fed into the system, the primary purpose of the database being to generate invoices,
build client records and capture transaction details. At some stage in the proceedings the marketer wants to use the database to generate cross selling and up selling campaigns and to interrogate it; to find out what constitutes an ideal client with a remit to go forth and find more of the same with laser honed precision.

At this point in the proceedings things may take a turn for the worse. The first tentative mailshot introducing complimentary services and products to existing clients opens up a can of worms.

  • Some clients are irritated because the company
    name is wrong and/or their job titles are either missing or inaccurate.(attributable
    to a lackadaisical administrator)
  • Many mailshots have been redirected or returned
    because the business has ceased trading or moved on.
  • Some clients have received several of the same
    mailshot because near identical records are held on the system when there
    should just be one.

The business to business mailshot, sparkling in its content, relevance and appeal has fallen short of delivering the responses anticipated because the data used was not up to the job.

This is why it’s vital for any business intent on building sales on a small budget to ensure that their database is transformed from being inaccurate, old and poorly performing in to a sparkling, clean, accurate database with double entries weeded out and converted to single entries and those missing postcodes, incorrect business names, faulty addresses and missing contact names all corrected. With a cleaned and augmented database, the responses to marketing campaigns will increase, wastage will plummet and the goodwill of customers will be retained.

There’s no point embarking on intensive prospecting campaigns with cold prospects before you have fully exploited the potential that exists with your existing clients. If you are not cross selling and up selling to your existing clients; if you’re not keeping them up to date with improvements in products and services and, even asking for referrals, you’re missing out big time. Don’t chase for brand-new customers at the expense of neglecting your existing loyal ones that are ripe to buy more.

But make sure your database is up to the job with bells on before you crank up your marketing.

Of course, once your database has been cleaned, it’s time to interrogate…

Being brilliant at the basics entails finding more of the customers that you want to do business with, ideally new customers that match the profiles of your existing high-value
customers. A service such as Marketscan’s DataPro database optimiser is invaluable. It starts by checking, cleaning and enhancing your existing database, moving swiftly to identifying the profiles of your best customers and using these profiles to find more of the same within the Marketscan Megabase.

It’s not rocket science is it?

If you want your marketing to be efficient and effective you need a database that’s as clean as a whistle. Then in that enormous prospecting universe where time and money is just waiting to be wasted it’s about identifying and targeting the prospects that you know are highly likely to want to do business with you because they closely resemble the very best of your existing customers. Get in touch if you need some help and advice.