As a marketer, you’re well aware of the importance of making a connection with your audience on a personal level. Skilled marketers are able to create content that generates a visceral reaction from audience members. But the best, most personally targeted messaging still falls short if it is tied to an outbound campaign launched to a poorly segmented database.
Segmentation is central to effective database marketing and serves a dual purpose. First, an effectively segmented database will help a marketer to confirm the audience is representative of the company’s Ideal Prospect Profile. For example, IF a company’s best prospects are HR Directors within banks with $50M – $100M in annual revenue located in the Northeastern United States … AND the database segmentation exercise reveals that the highest audience concentration in the existing database is actually CFOs within manufacturing companies with $5M - $50M in annual revenue located in the Midwestern United States … THEN, the marketer’s efforts will miss the mark, BIG TIME.
Second, when a database is segmented properly, marketers are able to access database segments quickly and easily for enrollment into campaigns built specifically for that audience. Putting in the time up front to get the segmentation right will pay off later when you are able to execute seamlessly.
Database marketing done well works! Here at Sales Engine, clients quite commonly experience a boost in audience engagement and campaign metrics when addressing a segmented recipient group effectively. Returning to our example above, an email launched with a headline that reads “Keep Your Bank in the Black: 3 Keys HR Directors MUST Implement Today” will resonate much better than “Keep Your Company in the Black: 3 Keys You MUST Implement Today”. What are the best practices in segmented database marketing?
- Review your Ideal Prospect Profile. If you don’t have this established for your company, you’ll need to consider both company and person criteria of your best prospect. For example, company criteria may consist of industry, revenue, employee count, and geography. Person criteria may consist of title, job level and job function.
- Export the existing database into a tool that can be used to analyze the data, such as Microsoft Excel. We suggest maintaining the raw data and categorizing (a.k.a “segmenting”) the data in a new field or column. For example, if you’re segmenting the field “Revenue”, instead of overwriting raw data for a given record (ie: revenue of $65,000,000) with a category (such as $50M - $100M), you’d maintain that valuable raw data, but categorize it in a new field, “Revenue Category”.
- Be mindful of how this exercise will need to be formatted to effectively update your CRM system. If new fields must be added to capture and record your segments, be sure to do this ahead of time. Also, if a record identifier must be used to update the system, such as a Record ID or Correlation ID, be sure that ID field is captured in your original data file.
- Import a small handful of your segmented records into your CRM to ensure all fields/columns are mapping to the correct CRM fields. When all looks good, you can go ahead and repeat for the remainder of your records.
Marketers who embrace database marketing can reap the benefits of creating the “That’s Me!” connection with recipients, which could make the difference between a recipient clicking the “Contact Me” link in YOUR email versus in the email your competitor will surely be sending soon.