Oracle Data Cloud Blog

Leveraging CRM files: Making the best of what you have

This week’s guest blog post is contributed by Ethan Simblist, Vice President, Digital Services, MeritDirect, LLC.

Today’s marketer is now swimming in what seems at times like an endless sea of data. It can often feel overwhelming to figure out which datasets are the most meaningful for targeting as well as analysis.

If marketers start with the basics, there are a few key areas to determine how to make the best of CRM data and how to best approach data-driven marketing.

Now that matching an email customer database or any in-house database to cookies or mobile IDs is  mainstream, it’s important to remember some basic rules before the match process even begins. It is not uncommon for large and small companies to have some difficulties managing massive in-house databases across multiple business units. Let’s take a look at three key areas to start with today.

  1. Know your customer
    Direct marketers have taken databases and appended behavior and demographic information for decades. The same process can be applied to a company’s in-house database(s). The better you know your existing customers, the easier it is to begin prospecting. Learning the demographics or firmographics of your existing customers makes prospecting significantly less daunting.
  2. Data hygiene
    Once you take basic steps to discover the customer attributes, it is important to ensure the data is accurate. By leveraging martech, you can assure your customers that the emails are still deliverable.

    While this may seem elementary for some, it can be overwhelming to certain companies with businesses with divisions working in silos, legacy business contacts and massive databases organized in a way that is not conducive for cross-selling, upselling and ensuring continuity.
  3. Cross-Device Matching
    Once a company’s CRM data is in order, it is helpful—if not critical—to reach these users across devices and channels. For those that work in the digital data business, it is hard to avoid hearing different data-driven businesses describe the differences in cross-device and cross-channel matching methodologies.

    Firstly, there is deterministic data, one-to-one matching of two or more datasets based on unique identifiers. Secondly, there is probabilistic data, which leverages multiple data sets with rational patterns suggesting a probably one-to-one match. It is increasingly important to understand these distinctions at a high level as you look at your customer base or prospects across devices. It is now possible to look at databases on a user level and engage with a user in an appropriate manner for the given environment.

Once marketers take the time to better mine their own data, make data hygiene a top priority and focus on targeting users on their preferred device, approaching data-driven prospecting will be more manageable.

About Ethan Simblist:
Ethan Simblist heads up Digital Services at MeritDirect, LLC leading the company’s expansion in digital advertising. Prior to joining MeritDirect, LLC, Ethan was the Director of Digital Strategy at White Star Media, a boutique direct response agency. Ethan brings with him a wealth of experience from his extensive digital marketing career working for LucidMedia, Contextweb, Pulse 360, IAC Advertising Solutions and Lake Group Media.

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Image: Sergey Nivens/Shutterstock

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