By Jeff Fowler, firstname.lastname@example.org
For many retailers, marketing can become decentralized and unsynchronized when each major communication channel operates under a different manager. Working directly with in-house IT, these managers often run independent data pulls for their campaigns, and send solicit files directly to ESPs and lettershops. They run recurring trigger campaigns that grab customers after a transaction and automatically target them with an offer. Periodically, consumers are peppered with new product announcements, holiday sales offers, catalogs, and postcards or flyers. Consumers with multiple email addresses often receive different offers on different addresses, and when databases aren’t merged properly they can get multiple catalogs and other mail pieces. Adding to this communications chaos, consumers are pounded with newsletters, notifications, status updates, plus transactional emails like order and shipping confirmations. That’s a lot of messages.
Frazzled consumers, overwhelmed by the disjointed communications stalking them through all these channels, are opting out or just not answering. Now is the time when retailers should use database marketing for more than just firing away with messages that inundate customers and test their patience. We need to get disciplined and agree on some rules. Here are three key steps that can help you integrate and manage your marketing efforts, and avoid multichannel marketing overload.
1. Create ONE system of record
The marketing database must be the system of record for all consumer communications.Sounds like a no-brainer, but too often, channel managers pull data from internal legacy systems instead of the database. Why? Because they don’t trust their database.
A properly built marketing database undergoes address cleansing, consolidates duplicates, assigns a unique and persistent ID for each consumer, stores all relevant consumer transactions, and maintains a centralized promotion history that captures every contact made to every consum