Microsegmentation, nano-segmentation and micromarketing are all
buzzwords today. Each one relies
on the ability to integrate disparate databases and systems into an enterprise application to create Customer Data Integration
(CDI). Data stored in these applications can
provide insight into a company’s customers
and prospects, but often companies do not
properly utilize this data to effectively reach
“The challenge with data is that its quality
quickly deteriorates over time,” says Mary
Rodino, Chief Marketing Officer at CIMCO
Communications. “Two percent of records
in any given database become obsolete in a
month. Managing the data and using it for
effective marketing and sales is a science
that relies heavily on technology.”
Smart Business asked Rodino about
using data technology effectively to increase sales.
How does CDI technology play a role in sales
and marketing today?
It’s important to understand that information about your leads and customers from a
variety of technology channels needs to be
integrated for a complete picture. The days
of manually manipulating data for lead generation and tracking are in the past. To do
CDI right, full technological integration of
online and offline marketing is necessary to
reach perfect prospects at the perfect time,
please them and still protect their privacy.
First, a data warehouse stores historical
information from disparate sources in one
place, such as basic contact information,
service and purchasing records, demographics, customer behaviors, touchpoints,
and more. Next, you can layer on top of that
an intelligent application to extract the
information for different user groups from
the data warehouse. Then, add a predictive
analytics application to fine-tune the segmentation of your customer database. In
marketing, this includes looking at all the
actions a customer takes — registering for a
white paper or podcast on your Web site,
responding to a telemarketer, a sales inquiry
— it could be anything. When information is
integrated by CDI technology and then
extracted according to predetermined business goals, you can market more successfully to those finely tuned segments.
What are the challenges?
There are five constant themes that are
considered critical success factors:
- Data integrity: All of your marketing
efforts can be rendered useless if you are
using inaccurate data to target campaigns.
- Timing: Valuable data needs to be acted
upon in a timely manner before it becomes
out of date.
- Incomplete data: Without complete
data, it is very hard to make sound business
decisions that will impact sales goals.
- Managing data: It’s an enormous effort
to manage data on a daily basis, not to mention the processes and systems that support
- Ownership: The more disparate data-source owners, the more silos of data, the
more difficult it will be to solve problems.
How is CDI different than database marketing?
It’s much more complex than database
marketing. CDI allows you to create market
segments beyond the traditional demographics, geographics and industry sectors.
The technology allows a better view of customer needs by monitoring how a person
responds to various mechanisms, which
can lead to more effective marketing and
How does marketing technology help sales?
This technology allows a business to better prequalify leads by gathering more and
different information about the customer
or prospect. When the lead is handed off,
the sales rep has a better idea of the customer’s interests and can better direct the
conversation. Once the lead is in the sales
pipeline, then technology allows a business
to track the customer from all touchpoints.
For example, in the first contact by the
salesperson it is recorded that the customer
is not ready to make a decision. Meanwhile,
all information about the customer or
prospect is fed into a single place that
allows everyone in the company to track
information in real time. The customer continues to receive an e-newsletter, visits a
trade show, inquires for more information
and so on. The predictive analytics application captures the customer or prospect in
real time and allows sales to track each person on a case-by-case basis.
How can a small or midsized business afford
something like this?
First, invest in experts to help you outline
business requirements and create a road
map to where you want to go. What I’ve
learned is that finding the right applications
that work for both marketing and sales is
an important first start. Many CRM applications and sales force automation databases
aren’t easily integrated with marketing
tools, and ultimately, it all has to be integrated with your Web site. This is your
foundation to begin executing marketing
programs in new media channels of today
and ones rapidly coming on stream in the
MARY RODINO is Chief Marketing Officer of CIMCO Communications, based in the Chicago, Ill., metropolitan area. Reach her at
(630) 691-8080 or firstname.lastname@example.org">href="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org.