Thursday, August 16, 2012

The New Face of Database Marketing

Where is database marketing headed?

In the beginning database marketing was defined as
"Database Marketing is an interactive approach to marketing, which uses the individually addressable marketing media and channels ... to extend help to a company's target audience; to stimulate their demand; and to stay close to them..."
That was written just about 25 years ago and still resonates today.   What has changed dramatically is what it means to be 'individually addressable'.   The newest Facebook feature, Page Post Targeting Enhanced, allows messages to be posted to the news feeds of specific segments of people based on a wider variety of demographic information, but not 'likes' at the moment.   Before this the best we could do to narrow the audience was by language and location.  Thus, the FB news feed, once a broadcast tool, now qualifies as a database marketing tactic.

But that's not all.

On the flip side is the opportunity to serve different content at different frequencies to different segments.  So, rather than thinking linearly about who should receive our offers, we need to think in terms of a matrix - which segments get which offers?  This is beginning to sound like how we think about other digital marketing tools where offers or ads are dynamically generated based on context, consumer, and intent.  The implication is that database marketing skills should be combined with digital marketers in a direct-to-consumer function.   Their responsibility is to place offers along the shopping journey that help, stimulate, or connect with the target.

Now, if we combine the legacy of database marketing - using a customer's transaction history to do it 'right' - with the new digital capabilities some new ideas emerge.  Imagine a news feed of
  • Recipes augmented by offers based on your previous purchases and content consumption
  • Books or music recommendations based on interests, current collection, and friends' lists
  • Exclusive content and promotional tie-ins from sponsors of events
For any brand considering these ideas, they should have a large fan base.  Thus, an integral part of the social media plan should be on acquisition - just like database marketing. 

No comments: