How much do you know about your customers? Studies show that what we think we know is unreliable for decision-making because we are too often influenced by what we want to be true or what would be true for us. Business success rests on a little, easy-to-get information.
Managing a good database of customer information is crucial as you plan your promotions. It helps to know who your customers are, what they do, where they live, and how they found you in order to know whether your marketing is well-designed and then works. Collect that information when you make sales and analyze it as you fine-tune your activities.
Some years ago, an online retailer commissioned a direct mail program from my company. When it was complete, I asked the client about the results.
“I guess they were alright,” came the answer. “Our sales were up last week.”
Our extensive campaign was targeted in Corpus Christi, and South Texas so I asked the client if any of his customers had come from those areas.
You guessed it—he had no idea. He just knew that his sales were up since the mail went out. Unfortunately, there can be a lag time between the marketing and the sales so it is hard to know whether that was entirely the reason.
It would have been simple to pull the new customer data and sort by zip code to see where these purchasers lived. My client thought that would take too much time and be too much trouble. His I.T. Department couldn’t provide that information either.
As a result he muddled through with poor information. And I had no way to know if my campaign was working or not as we made new plans.
Not surprisingly, a few months later my client closed his business.
The more you know about your customers, the better marketing decisions you can make. Most of what you need you already have if you just take the time to gather and analyze it.