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Why Databases Fail Nine deadly mistakes that will ruin your chances for success. Direct Marketing Days New York Jacob Javits Center Thursday, May 27, 11:25 AM - 12:15 PM Arthur Middleton Hughes Vice President / Solutions Architect KnowledgeBase Marketing, Inc.

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why databases fail
Why Databases Fail

Nine deadly mistakes that will ruin your chances for success.

Direct Marketing Days New York

Jacob Javits Center

Thursday, May 27, 11:25 AM - 12:15 PM

Arthur Middleton Hughes

Vice President / Solutions Architect

KnowledgeBase Marketing, Inc.

mistake lack of a marketing strategy
Mistake: Lack of a Marketing Strategy
  • Building a database is easy
  • Making money with a database is hard
  • Most people don’t know that
how to develop a strategy
How to develop a strategy
  • Collect data on your customer’s purchases, demographics and lifestyle
  • Build a database that permits ad-hoc analysis
  • Construct a lifetime value table
  • Figure out what motivates your customers
two kinds of database people
Two Kinds of Database People
  • Constructors

People who build databases

Merge/Purge, Hardware, Software

  • Creators

People who understand strategy

Build loyalty and repeat sales

  • You need both kinds!
examples of profitable strategies
Examples of Profitable Strategies
  • User Groups
  • Newsletters
  • Surveys and Responses
  • Loyalty Programs
  • Customer and Technical Services
  • Membership cards and status levels
  • Event Driven Communications
event driven communication
Event driven communication:

Ridgeway Fashions

Leesburg, VA 22069

Dear Mr. Hughes:

I would like to remind you that your wife Helena’s birthday is coming up in two weeks on November 5th. We have the perfect gift for her in stock.

As you know, she loves Liz Claiborne clothing. We have an absolutely beautiful new suit in blue, her favorite color, in a fourteen, her size, priced at $232.00.

If you like, I can gift wrap the suit at no extra charge and deliver it to you next week, so that you will have it in plenty of time for her birthday. Or, I can put it aside so you can come in to pick it up. Please call me at (703) 754-4470 to let me know which you’d prefer.

Sincerely yours,

Robin Baumgartner

Robin Baumgartner, Store Manager

basic strategy rule put yourself in customer shoes
Basic Strategy Rule:Put yourself in customer shoes
  • Say: “What would I want to be on this database? What’s in it for me?”
  • If you can’t come up with a good answer, the database will fail
mistake focus on price instead of service
Mistake: Focus on Price instead of Service
  • Database marketing builds loyalty.
  • Discounts do not build loyalty.
  • Do not use the database to provide discounts.
  • Use the database to provide dialog, recognition and service.
customers today seek more than low prices
Customers today seek more than low prices
  • Recognition
  • Service
  • Information
  • Convenience
  • Helpfulness
example quaker direct
Example: Quaker Direct
  • Budget: $18 Million. Coupons to 20 million “targeted households.”
  • Quaker goal: “real one-to-one bonding with consumers”.
  • Cost: four times as much as FSI’s.
  • Why failed: Coupons do not build relationships.
example kraft crystal light
Example: Kraft Crystal Light
  • Million club members receive quarterly newsletter.
  • Catalog: Watches, mugs, jogging suits, with Crystal Light emblem.
  • Theme: fitness, exercise, weight loss, diet.
  • Why succeeded: Club based on valid idea, not just on discounting product.
mistake failure to use tests and controls
Mistake: Failure to use tests and controls
  • Database marketing is accountable
  • Everything you do can be measured
  • You must set up control groups that do not get your new communications
  • Key measurements: response rates, return on investment, profits, lifetime value.
example western union
Example: Western Union
  • Preferred customer card sent to everyone who had used WU 3+ times
  • Worked well, but after 2 years, WU asked, “How has this boosted profits?”
  • Agency did not have a control group.
  • Profits could not be verified.
  • Agency lost the account.
example citicorp reward america
Example: Citicorp Reward America
  • Frequent shopper program for supermarkets
  • Goal: sign up 40% of all chains fast
  • Profit idea: sell data to manufacturers
  • Budget: $200 million -- 174 employees
failure citicorp reward america
Failure: Citicorp Reward America
  • Program cancelled. Employees fired. Why?
  • Manufacturers didn’t buy the names.
  • Computers choked on the data.
  • Failure to test on small scale first.
mistake too big and slow
Mistake: Too big and slow
  • Database should be built in six months or less.
  • DB Marketing builds loyalty and sales -- but only when it is up and running.
  • If your plan requires more than a year, maybe your plan is too complicated.
  • Start small. Build Small. Learn as you go. Add to it later.
how a database builds relationships
How a database builds relationships
  • Hold information on customers
  • Add new data every day:
    • Surveys, Promotion history, Points
    • Transaction history, Lifetime value and RFM
  • Create a relational database that you can build for less than a million dollars
  • Update it as often as required – several times a day if needed.
mistake failure to use the web
Mistake: Failure to use the Web
  • Your database contains customer information: purchases, preferences, contact names, etc.
  • Customer service has to have this info when they talk on the phone.
  • Your web site must have this info when you receive customers as visitors.

Provide recognition!

Welcome Back, Arthur!

retail email success
Retail Email Success
  • Video chain sent email newsletters to 170,000 customers about movies
  • 16,000 asked for but got no emails
  • Test group total sales over 6 months were 28% higher than the control group
  • Emails can be a powerful sales boost
catalog email success
Catalog Email Success
  • Cataloger selected 40,000 who had bought on the web.
  • 20,000 got emails saying “watch mailbox for our new catalog”
  • 20,000 got only the catalog.
  • Sales to the test group were 18% higher than the control group.
mistake building in house
Mistake: building in-house
  • Marketing databases are unlike any other IT function.
  • DB requires special skills and software
  • There are scores of vendors with experience in building marketing DBs
  • In-house will take far longer and cost far more.
what to do
What to do?
  • Send an RFP to find a vendor that understands you and has experience
  • Get it going fast and at lower cost.
  • Once it is up and running, you can migrate it inside.
  • But even then, you should not do it.
  • Why? Because you should concentrate on marketing: building profits from it.

Mistake: Treating all customers alike

  • Loyal customers are more profitable than new or disloyal customers
  • Loyalty can be built and maintained
  • $1 million retention budget spread over 1 million customers is $1 per year. You can’t build much loyalty for $1
  • $1 million spread over 100,000 is $10 per year. You can build loyalty with that

Segment by profitability & focus your attention

Profitability Segment


marketing to customer segments

Spend Service Dollars Here

  • GOLD

Your Best Customers - 80% of Revenue

Spend Marketing Dollars Here

Your Best Hope for New Gold Customers

Move Up

1% of Total Revenue

Reactivate or Archive

These may be losers

Marketing to Customer Segments
mistake failure to develop a retention program
Mistake: Failure to develop a retention program
  • Most companies are set up for acquisition
  • Few have a specific retention program.
  • $1 spent to retain customers returns more profit than $1 of acquisition
retention communications
Retention = Communications
  • People like to hear from you.
  • Personalize your communications.
  • Use email, direct mail, phone calls
  • Set aside control groups so you know that your communications are working
what proves that relationship marketing works
What proves that relationship marketing works?
  • Manufacturer of building products
  • Catalog sent to 45,000 contractors
  • Previous policy: wait for the orders
  • Test: pick 1,200 customers, split into test of 600 and control of 600
  • Two person pilot program build relationship with test customers to see the results
this stuff works
This stuff works!
  • Building a relationship with customers can be highly profitable
  • Using a database to recreate the old family grocer is a winning strategy
  • Relationship marketing is the way to go
mistake lack of a forceful leader
Mistake: Lack of a forceful leader
  • Success requires directing the activities of many internal and external units
  • The Web, MIS, Customer Service, Tech Support, Telemarketers, Service Bureau, Direct Agency, Fulfillment, Market Research
  • Database Marketers must be leaders
summary the nine mistakes
Lack of a Strategy

Focus on Price

Lack of tests & controls

Too big and delayed

Failure to use the web

Building In-House

Treating all customers alike

Lack of a retention program

Lack of leadership

Summary: The Nine Mistakes
rules for success
Rules for success
  • Put yourself in your customer’s shoes
  • Build a lifetime value table
  • Build a database team
  • Think small, and think fast
  • Keep your eye on the bottom line
books by arthur hughes
Books by Arthur Hughes

From McGraw Hill. Order at www.dbmarketing.com

Contact Arthur: arthur.hughes@kbm1.com