School Funding Services

June 13, 2008

Myths in Database Marketing

Filed under: Database,Educational,funding,Marketing — House @ 4:23 am

You’ve probably heard them—reasons not to implement a database marketing strategy. “It’s hard to do,” “it’s expensive,” “our customer file is in great shape”—the list goes on. But here are the facts proving that these myths hold no weight:

1. It is too difficult to create and maintain useful customer information in the education market. The purchase order may not always contain the name of the end user of the product, but that does not mean that it is impossible to acquire or effectively use information from the order. A lot of information can be gleaned from a purchase order. Plus, customer files can be augmented with external information to round out what is not included on a purchase order.

2. Our customer file does not contain useful information. Many education marketing databases are very lean. Some only contain minimal product and sales information. However, with just an address, you can obtain a lot of information about your customer, from grade level and type of neighborhood in which the school resides to expenditure information per student.

3. Our customer list does not need improvement. It has the best response rate of all the lists. The customer file should have the best response rate. However, that does not mean that all customers have the same potential. Typically, the customer list response rate will be 3% to 5% overall in the education market. However, there are segments or groups of customers that will have a 6% to 9% response rate, while others will have less than 1%. Marketing to some segments in a customer file can be unprofitable!

4. Database marketing is a one-time effort. Some marketers will clean up their customer file or profile their customer database one time and assume that they are done. Database marketing is an ongoing process that should continually be part of the marketing strategy. The education market is dynamic and constantly shifting. The customer marketing database should be designed to reflect these changes. Database marketing can help you keep up with changes and direct your efforts. Database marketing is a necessity, not an option.

5. It is too expensive. Database marketing costs are often viewed as added expenses. Instead, they should be viewed as an investment that will return value over time. A good database marketing strategy has a very short pay-back period and can pay for itself through increased profitability of the direct marketing effort.

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