Why your marketing team needs smaller databases

Marketers are always needing to prove the value of the work they do which is a tough challenge because value can be measured in many ways in the marketing world. The increase of brand awareness impacts the number of people who see the brand name, which increases database sizes and results in a more positive brand image….

In almost every circumstance when marketers show the value of their spend it comes down to the cost of the campaigns per person. A one million rand campaign that reaches two million people is judged to be good because it is a cost of fifty cents per person reached.

The problem with this is that the reach doesn’t mean connection, it doesn’t mean trust, it doesn’t mean business. Having worked with small databases of one hundred people at a cost per reach of R500 per person, the result generated R250 000.00 in business. Meaning a profit of  R2000.00 per person in the database.

We do this by creating real person to person connections with people over social networks. It’s these connections that cost more to reach the masses, but deliver a profit with each person reached instead of an expense.

When marketers learn to connect with smaller databases in more meaningful ways then they will successfully build value for the business they work with. Good social media strategists understand that  social media is about connecting people and not distributing content on more channels.

Today a I met with a client who was talking about building a huge database for his business. He felt this would improve his chances of sales. Here are three reasons why this won’t work:

1) You can’t offer specific, meaningful value to large databases 

The bigger the database the broader the interests in that database. The wider the range of needs and the more likely you are contributing to the spam that they are trying so hard to avoid.

2) Big databases provide generalised customer research 

In general people are very similar – they share similar values, ideas, dreams and aspirations. In practice however, we know that people are all very unique. They  react differently to the tone of your brand, the personality of your sales team, and the perceived value that you present to them. We cannot research a group of people in order to sell an individual a product. We need to understand the individual needs and then respond to those.

Our knowledge of the general actions of our customers may lead to interest in our product or service but it is the individual understanding that builds a long lasting engagement.

3) People can only manage a small amount of meaningful connections

People can only have a meaningful connection with about 150 people. This means that every other relationship, whether digital or physical, becomes less meaningful. To create meaningful relationships that turn into value for both parties there needs to be invested interest in each sides of the relationship. These relationships turn into valuable business relationships.

Business to Business Marketing

As you have probably realised this article is geared towards business to business marketing. We need to move away from telling everyone about us, and move toward telling those key people about something that would be very valuable to them and then to  build that relationship.

Bigger means more people will hear about you, smaller could mean more people will buy from you.

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One Response to “Why your marketing team needs smaller databases”

  1. Saffron Baggallay February 28, 2012 at 7:28 pm #

    Excellent blog, very useful, Thanks Mike

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