The Power of Databases

Eyes tend to glaze over when the subject of databases arises, but they are one of the most powerful tools for marketing there is. You can think of a database as a group of names, be they existing customers, potential customers, contacts or suppliers, and they are probably on a spreadsheet somewhere; in a standard accounts package; or even a heap of business cards in the corner.

But how many of us actually take these names and write (physically or electronically) to them to remind them about ourselves and what we do, or suggest additional products they could buy. Think of Amazon, once they have your details and in what you are interested, they will be e mailing you with suggestions for other products.

Taking your contact names and putting them into a suitable database takes a bit of effort initially, but once you have them there, its an easy task to keep them up to date. You can then start e mail marketing and of course you have total control, as you decide how often, to whom, and what subject you wish to cover.

Of course, once the database is up and running, it makes life easier in other areas as well. You will know at a glance which customer buys what, so you can start targeting your customers with specific products by phone or in person.

If you do not use a standard accounts package such as Sage, then its worth considering obtaining a simple database programme, written say in Access, to prepare your invoices, purchase orders etc. using your database of names. This will speed up your administration, improve accuracy, keep an electronic record, and provide summaries of your activities. Fortunately, you do not need to purchase Access as the developer will install a free version.

So your existing “database” can increase sales and lower costs! No wonder so many marketing gurus reckon its a company’s most important asset!


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