Marketing databases are essential in any company’s arsenal. While they provide you with a new level of marketing, they also require your attention.

Marketing databases don’t have to be complicated, but they do require planning and effort.

You need to know what you want to accomplish with your marketing database and find ways to organise and analyse your data. 

As a result, you’ll have an easier time processing and locating the information you need.

There are two types of databases:

  • Customer database. A database marketing technique used by businesses that directly sell to customers.

  • Business database. This type of database marketing targets businesses that sell to other businesses.

So, what do you include in a marketing database?

The table below highlights what to include in each type of database:

Type of Database

What to Include

Customer database

  • Customers’ names

  • Their postal address

  • Gender

  • Telephone number

Business database

  • Company’s name

  • Executives’ names

  • Number of employees

  • Estimated revenue

Now that you understand the types of marketing databases, let’s take a look at five expert tips that will help you create an effective database.

1 – Define Your Objectives

The first step in creating a marketing database is to define your objectives. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do you hope to accomplish with your marketing efforts? 

  • How much money can you spend? 

  • How many leads will be generated? 

  • What response rate do you expect from each campaign?

These questions will guide your research efforts as you build your database.

Defining your objectives helps you focus on your goal and saves you from getting distracted by other things that may be happening in your business. Below are five tips to help you define your objectives:

  • Define your priorities

  • Choose the suitable data sources for each objective

  • Identify which elements of marketing database design are critical to your goals

  • Examine how you’re currently tracking and reporting on marketing data

  • Create a plan to create a better marketing database

2 – Understand Your Audience

Understanding your audience is the key to creating a better database marketing strategy. 

A good database marketing strategy involves more than just knowing your target demographic and primary goals. It also involves understanding how you can best communicate with them and how you can use your database to achieve those goals. 

For example, if you wanted to market your product or service to women between 22 and 34, it would make sense to target that group on social media. 

But if you wanted to market a different product or service (for example, a men’s health product), it would be appropriate for this information to appear on another platform like Google AdWords Ads.

Here are some ways to identify your target audience:

  • Listen to your current customers

  • Listen to your prospects

  • Look at their websites, social media profiles, and other digital content

  • Do some research on their demographics and psychographics (that is, likes and dislikes)

  • Ensure you aren’t duplicating what they already know about themselves

3 – Standardise Your Data

One of the most important tasks you can do to improve your marketing database is standardising it.

When you don’t standardise your data, comparing different sources and marketing campaigns will be challenging. You’ll have difficulty understanding how effective each campaign was or what worked best.

Standardisation also makes it easier for marketing automation tools like email marketing, social media, and web content to work together. 

For example, suppose you wanted to send an email campaign with a CTA in the subject line and a link to the product page in the body of the email. Those two would be much easier to create if they were written in the same place in each piece of content.

The following is a simple step-by-step guide on how to standardise data:

Step #1: Determine the Standards

Here, you decide on what data elements you will collect, how you will collect them, and what types of reporting you need. The standards should be based on your business requirements and include all key business metrics.

Step #2: Find Out Where the Data Originates

Once you’ve determined your standards, it’s time to discover where your data comes from. This step is critical because it determines how much time and effort you’ll require to clean and normalise the data before business intelligence (BI) tools can use it.

Step #3: Normalise and Clean the Data

The next step is to normalise and clean your data to meet your quality control standards. Once you’ve discovered where your data comes from, you can begin looking for patterns. Normalising involves removing unnecessary columns (like empty fields) so that only relevant information appears in reports or output.

4 – Establish an Accurate Budget

Accurate budgets in marketing databases are essential from a financial standpoint because they allow you to determine your current status and provide a benchmark for future growth.

Base your budget on what you know when establishing an accurate budget. You can’t just make up numbers because you want them to work. You also have to be realistic about how much money you have available and how much revenue you expect your business to generate in the future.

To get started, use the following guidelines:

  • Determine the type of information you need. Start by identifying the types of data you need in your marketing database. 

For example, if you run a retail store, you may need product data and store location information for each item on your shelves. 

Similarly, if you own an online store like Etsy or Amazon, this could be product-related data like stock-keeping unit (SKU) codes or item descriptions.

  • Understand how often you need this information. Daily? Weekly? Monthly? What are your goals for the accuracy level of this data? 

For example, once per year would be acceptable for a small business with only a handful of SKU codes and that doesn’t have a large inventory of products. 

But if you have many products and multiple locations throughout the country, you may prefer monthly updates over weekly ones.

5 – Clean and Secure Your Data

The best way to avoid any issues with your database is by keeping it up-to-date. You can do this through regular backups and scans of the system.

Ensure that you test all the products that you sell in your store. When you list a product on eBay for several years, you may notice discrepancies between what was first listed and what is now being sold.

Create an Excellent Marketing Database With Marketsoft

Regardless of what industry you’re in, it’s vital to keep a database of your clients and customers. 

Along these lines, a database should be comprehensive enough so you can reach out to nearly every customer or client on it. 

At Marketsoft, our data services can help you maximise the value of your data assets

We ensure you grow excellent relationships using data by helping you manage a comprehensive view of your clients. 

Contact us today to understand why customer-first data is vital in your business.

Sandy, one of our clients, had this to say about our services:

“Working with Marketsoft has been a great experience.” – Sandy Inglis, Cornucopia


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a marketing database?

A marketing database is an organised collection of information about your target market. The data includes demographics, psychographics, and any other relevant information you might need to understand your customers.

Why do I need a marketing database?

A marketing database helps you make more informed decisions about your customers and the products or services they might need. 

For example, suppose you were selling coffee. In that case, determine how many people live in each neighbourhood by looking at how often they visit coffee shops in a particular area. Similarly, if you were selling gym memberships, determine who might be interested in joining a specific gym based on their location, age, and other factors.

What is the difference between an email list and a database?

An email list contains all the email addresses of people who have opted-in to receive email communication from your business. A database contains contact information for those people, including names, phone numbers, email addresses, and physical addresses.

What should a customer database include?

 A customer database is a central repository for all the information about your customers. This includes their names, phone numbers, email addresses, and other contact information.