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Using your sales and marketing database to improve customer relationships

 

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The better your business can manage its relationships with customers, the more successful it will become. Developing a customer relationship management (CRM) system helps you understand what and how your customers buy from you.

The benefits of this are:

· increased sales to new and existing customers through better timing, identifying needs more effectively and cross-selling of other products

· effective marketing communications, through a more personal approach and the development of new and improved products or services

· enhanced customer satisfaction and retention

· increased value from your existing customers – and reduced cost to serve

How your sales and marketing database can help with your CRM system

An effective marketing database is essential for your CRM system. It allows you to analyse sales data and individuals’ personal information to find out who your most profitable customers are and what characteristics they share. This will help you to develop a clear idea of what sort of person or organisation to focus your marketing activities on. For example, you may be able to group customers according to geographic area or target your promotional and sales efforts more precisely.

Your marketing database will also help you to communicate better with your customers. You’ll be able to identify similar groups of customers and tailor your marketing to them. For example, you might want to reward regular, profitable customers with targeted special offers, or you might want to target customers that you haven’t done business with in the past year. CRM can also help you measure the effectiveness of your marketing activities, so that you avoid wasting time and money on customers who aren’t responding to your promotional campaigns.

CRM regulations

Direct electronic marketing is regulated by the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003. These regulations define what you can and can’t do or say in your marketing messages – eg you must disclose your identity and a valid address to all recipients.

Direct, electronic marketing is any message sent by email, text, picture, video, voicemail or answer phone message that is aimed at selling goods or services and promoting an organisation’s values or beliefs.

The Data Protection Act applies to databases used in email marketing, and you will need to abide by its rules.



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