Pundits all over the place are stating that marketers need to do more with less. Most marketing budgets have been reduced including the expenditures for external marketing lists. Consequently, it’s important to maximize the opportunity with your existing customers and other contacts that you already have a relationship before investing in developing new, cold relationships.
Therefore, what are some practical solutions for a marketer to sustain and grow their organization in this environment?
First, look to the contacts that you already have an established relationship. This could be current customers, past customers, or current/past prospects. As turnover of contacts is high, especially with all the layoffs, you should ask yourself, besides the centralized marketing database; where else within the organization can I find valuable contacts? These additional contacts could be in communication systems, like Outlook and Lotus Notes, users and support databases, financial systems, and other systems.
Next, look to your new leads. These leads could be coming from your website, tradeshows, call center, sales rep, direct mail responses, and other sources.
Finally, if there are external lists that have a proven successful track record with your organization, then certainly they should be included in your budget and utilized.
Now that you have identified all the potential avenues of contacts, you can match and link all of the contacts that are part of the same or related organization in order to develop a single customer view. With the data correlated by common indicators, you can query across data sources in order to perform analysis and generate lists for campaigns. Representatives can see all of the contacts and their locations that are part of the same or related organization in a single view in order to help up-sell and cross-sell. Leads, past prospects, and past customers can be matched up against current customers in order to help find referral opportunities and increase credibility with a new lead or potential revived opportunity.
With data integration and correlation, you can get more out of your existing data sources and your already proven external sources without having to make the investment in speculative and unproven external resources.