"I don't have a database!"
It’s a phrase we hear far too often from our new clients, and I’m here to tell you that if you’ve found yourself saying this, you’re likely to be wrong!
Whether it’s a list of customers, the email contacts in your sent box, or even your connections on LinkedIn, you can collate all of that data into one excel spreadsheet and start marketing to the right people.
Data is the lifeblood of marketing, without it, there’s no doubt you’ll find your marketing strategies falling flat.
After all, the 3 M’s of Marketing – start with Market. Who are we targeting?
The reality is, before you can close leads, you have to open them! Building a strong foundation of data is key to success and it’s a lot easier than you think. Here are our top tips to getting your data management perfected.
Organising your data
If the data you’ve got is spread over dozens of files nestled deep within your old laptop’s hard drive, don’t worry. We’ve spent hours going through multiple files from all across our clients’ network to collate all their clients and potential client’s information into one place.
Here’s the thing, once that work was done, we never had to do it again. We knew where new contacts and clients would be kept, we knew where we could add extra information over time to avoid it becoming a mess again. That in itself, is a massive asset when it comes to selling your business down the line... so it’s important to ensure you have a marketing database.
A time commitment like that might seem significant, but once you’ve found all that information copying it onto a single spreadsheet is easy and once you’ve done it the time saved will be hugely significant.
With everything available on one excel spreadsheet, it was far easier to find commonalities between clients that weren’t seen before.
A big thing to keep in mind when organising your data is to keep an eye out for duplicates, especially if you’re combining datasets from multiple sources.
You might have Mark Etting with the email MarkieEtting123@gmail.com and Mark Etting with the email MEtting@EttingBusiness.net are these two separate Marks? Or is one an old email?
There are plenty of websites like https://neverbounce.com/ or https://mailtester.com/en/ that can answer those questions. But if they’re both the same Mark and both still in use, would it better suited to contact his personal email or his business email.
Segmenting your lists
Now all your contacts are in one place, it’s time to split them up again. Dividing up your contacts into clients/prospects, or by the products or services they might be interested in means you can create bespoke campaigns for each group.
If you’ve taken data from your LinkedIn connections, it’s worth removing your colleagues, friends, or any associates you know won’t want to see your campaigns, if not outright, then categorise them as non-relevant contacts.
The great thing about segmenting your data is that when an existing contact comes into your database, be that from purchasing a database, connecting on LinkedIn, signing up to a brochure/magazine(or however you’ve chosen to expand your database) you can combine the information you currently have with the additional information to get a stronger knowledge base to build your market research off and that brings us to…
Using that data
With all that data neatly organised, segmented and analysed, now’s your chance to use it. Setting up a sales funnel, creating a social media campaign, or posting out brochures - however you move forward you can do so knowing what your prospects and clients are most likely to respond to.
With the data you’ve gathered you can personalise your messages to prospects to really grab their attention over a sea of sales emails, birthday rewards, gifts, any sort of bespoke messaging is going to make your business stand out over the rest.
But if you're ACTUALLY starting fresh...
If you’re one of the few companies that when you say “we don’t have a database” it’s actually true; firstly, you likely haven’t reached your first anniversary yet, secondly, a database of contacts is a few clicks away. If you’re aiming for B2B marketing, Companies House has a fully searchable list of every business registered in the UK. Every single one. With details like addresses, current and past CEOs/MDs, and even industry.
You can search the businesses or their listed directors on LinkedIn and get in contact with them directly.
When it comes to B2C, there are dozens of websites you can find potential customers on and trying a wide-net approach means you’ll be able to boil those contacts down to prospects. And you can’t ignore social media: competitions and giveaways are perfect ways to get people who are interested in your product to happily become part of your database.
Data isn’t just the building blocks to a campaign, it’s the very foundation to your entire marketing strategy.
We don’t go in blindfolded with our clients, and neither should you, and even if your databases are on the small side now, you can build your strategy around what you know whilst also working to gather more information.
If you’re thinking all this is too much for you on your own to take on, or for your lone marketing officer who is wearing many hats, it’s understandable, but that’s why at Flamingo Marketing Strategies, we’re happy to support your existing Marketing, or become your own external marketing team.
Whether you’re looking to find new leads, close existing leads, or get your brand out there, we’re happy to offer a free 60-minute strategy call to anyone looking to boost their business.