Automatic Marketing in Richmond

Savvy companies in Richmond are capturing information every time a customer comes into contact with any of its departments. The touch points include a customer purchase, a customer requested service call, an online query, or mail-in rebate card. These data are collected by the company’s contact center and organized into a data warehouse. Company personnel can capture, query, and analyze the data. Inferences can be drawn about an individual customer’s needs and responses. Telemarketers can respond to customer inquiries based on a total picture of the customer relationship.

Through datamining, marketing statisticians can extract useful information about individuals, trends, and segments from the mass of data. Datamining involves the use of sophisticated statistical and mathematical techniques such as cluster analysis, automatic interaction detection, predictive modeling, and neural networking.  It can be ideal to run datamining alongside online marketing done by an elite internet marketing company. A company that wants to learn the most from its database needs to engage the services of a person of company skilled in datamining.


Using the Database

In general. companies can use their databases in five ways:
To identify prospects. Many companies generate sales leads by advertising their product or service. The ads generally contain a response feature, such as a business reply card or toll-free phone number. The database is built from these responses. The company sorts through the database to convert them into customers.

To decide which customers should receive a particular offer. Companies are interested in selling, upselling, and cross-selling their products and services. Richmond, Virginia-based companies set up criteria describing the ideal target customer for a particular offer. Then they search their customer database for those who most closely resemble the ideal type. BY noting response rates, a company can improve its targeting precision over time. Following a sale, it can set up an automatic sequence of activities: One week later, send a thank you note; five weeks later, send a new offer; ten weeks later (if the customer has not responded), phone the customer and offer a special discount.

To deepen customer loyalty. Companies can build interest and enthusiasm, by remembering customer preferences; by sending appropriate gifts, discount coupons, and interesting reading material.

To reactivate customer purchases. Companies can install automatic mailing programs (automatic marketing) that send out birthday or anniversary cards, Christmas shopping reminders, or off-season promotions. The database can help the company make attractive or timely offers.

To avoid serious customer mistakes. A major bank confessed to a number of mistakes that it had made by not using its customer database well. In one case, the bank charged a customer a penalty for late payment on his mortgage, failing to note that he headed a company that was a major depositor in this bank. He quit the bank. In a second case, two different staff members of the bank phoned the same mortgage customer offering a home equity loan different prices. Neither knew that the other had made the call. In a third case, a bank gave a premium customer only standard service in another country.

Build relationships with database marketing

The important part is to know the customer. And in order to know the customer, the company must collect information and store it in a database and do database marketing: A customer database is an organized collection of comprehensive information about individual customers or prospects that is current, accessible, and actionable for such marketing purposes as lead generation, lead qualification, sale of a product or service, or maintenance of customer relationships. Database marketing is the process of building, maintaining, and using customer databases and other databases (products, suppliers, resellers) for the purposes of contacting, transacting, and building relationships.

Many companies confuse a customer mailing list with a customer database. A customer mailing list is simply a set of names, addresses, and telephone number. A customer database contains much more information. Companies accumulate this information through customer transactions, registration information, telephone queries, cookie information, and information from every contact with a customer (a touchpoint).

A customer database ideally would contain the consumer’s past purchases, demographics (age, income, family members, birthdays), psychographics (activities, interests, and opinions), media graphics (preferred media), and other useful information. For about each of the 30 million households in its massive customer database. And the Royal bank of Canada has individual data on its 9 million customers and is able to model the lifetime value of its individual customer, their potential interest in different offerings, and their vulnerability to attrition.

A business database ideally would contain past purchases of business customers; past volumes, prices and profits; buyer team member names (and their ages, birthdays, hobbies, and favorite foods); status of current contracts, an estimate of the supplier’s share of the customer’s business; competitive suppliers; assessment of competitive strengths and weaknesses in selling and servicing the account, and relevant buying practices, patterns, and policies. For example, a Latin American unit of the Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis keeps data on 100,000 of Argentina’s farmers, knows their crop protection chemical purchases, groups them by value, and treats each group differently.