Database Marketing – The Quickest Way To Grow Your Business

April 27, 2012 by  Filed under: Marketing 

If you pose that question to most small business owners, the most common response you will receive will be “Me – I’m the most valuable asset in this business”.

Now of course in one respect that answer is correct. In so many small businesses if you removed the business owner, the business would collapse. This applies of course to one man bands but often also to larger businesses with several people involved.

However that is not the answer I was looking for.

In terms of developing the business, maximising sales and your small business marketing, the most valuable asset is your database. Whether you keep this in a basic Excel spreadsheet or on more sophisticated database software isn’t the key issue. The vital point is that you have a database containing all the contact details and purchasing history of your current customers, past customers and prospects.

So why is the database so important?

The quickest way to grow any business is by leveraging your existing customers. These people have already decided that they like you and your products enough to buy from you.

For this reason when you contact them and tell them about new products or cross sell them into products that they don’t currently buy from you, they will be a very receptive audience. They already like you and trust you and if they have a requirement for your product, you have a very good chance of them buying from you.

Lapsed Customers

It is estimated that something like 80% of customers leave their existing supplier not because they are unhappy with the product but because they don’t feel loved. If this is the case they should be relatively easy to woo back into the fold if you offer then a powerful targeted promotional offer. Once you’ve started trading with them again, if you have any sense you will lavish attention on them and develop a strong and enduring relationship.


Hopefully you have a separate list of prospects who you have some sort of contact with previously but failed to convert into customers. You know they are interested in what you sell, so now you can start marketing to them regularly until either they become a customer or they ask you to take them off your list.

The importance of segmenting your database

As you can see the approach to the differing elements of your database demonstrates how important it is to have your database properly segmented so that you are sending the appropriate marketing communication to the appropriate people. The success of your marketing is determined to a large degree by the relevance of your communication and the trigger which will motivate each segment will of course be different.

So if you currently don’t have a database and all your records are kept in a day book or something similar, the best marketing advice I can give you get a student in to transfer all the customer data to some sort of database system. If you have all your records electronically but they are all mixed up and incomplete, please invest the time to sort them out and segment them, I promise you it will be worth it.

Mike Jennings runs Business Development Advisors – a marketing consultancy based near Guildford in England. BDA does companies’ marketing for them in order to grow the business and win new customers. Please find more information at

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