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Why regularly updating your marketing database is good business practice.

Our previous article established that marketing (and more specifically content marketing) forms an important, yet oft-neglected component of business strategy, even within the arguably less exciting B2B space.

As a reminder, content marketing provides a way for businesses to stand out in an environment where traditionally more attention has been paid to operational factors such as logistical efficiency.

However, an enthusiastic push to embrace more exciting marketing strategies should not come at the expense of getting the basics right.

One of these basics is that of ensuring that customer records are updated, properly maintained and relevant. And although it’s a simple concept, it’s perhaps for this very reason that many companies can find themselves overlooking or neglecting it.

An enthusiastic push to embrace exciting marketing strategies should not come at the expense of getting the basics right.

It’s commonly a case of ‘do-it-once-and-forget’. Regular contacts maintenance falls by the wayside amidst the focus on attracting and capturing new customers. Finally, after wondering why email marketing communications are losing their impact and efficacy, a trawl through the marketing database often reveals that many of the originally captured contact addresses and details are no longer valid.

Contact details change more often than one tends to think. People change jobs, new staff assume their predecessors’ positions and client relationship legacy is destroyed.

Contributing to this problem is that there’s often no-one assigned this role and responsibility within the organisation. Let’s face it – it’s hardly the most glamorous job to be trawling through the company database and following-up on people’s details. It can however, be a much-needed beneficial exercise. 

Companies should perhaps make it a scheduled event, particularly if no dedicated CRM role exists within the company. A bi-annual database review ensures that customer details are up-to-date, clears out old & irrelevant data, and forces the company to acknowledge the importance of doing this most basic of business tasks.

Companies should consider making the contacts database review a scheduled event.

Operational platforms can also help in keeping these marketing details relevant. By hosting the contacts database on the same system where transactions are conducted, the details are kept top-of-mind and even auto-updated if harvested from regular business transactions such as quoting and ordering. Having manual controls to load companies and contacts, and manage their details doesn’t hurt either.

Of course systems can quickly get clever once categorization and machine-learning is added. Contacts can be auto-suggested based on prior buying behaviour and a whole new level of customized marketing opened up. However, the effectiveness of such efforts relies on the accuracy of the underlying basic information and serves as a reminder of its importance.

If you haven’t checked the accuracy and validity of your database in a while, perhaps schedule some time to do so. A freshly updated list of contacts brings assurance and confidence that your marketing efforts are at the very least, going where intended.