Red Zebra Business Centre -Management Memos
October, 2008. Making Measurably More For Your Business Since 1985!


Database Marketing.
Your New
Cost Saver!

Choose Your Data Wisely!

In the past, marketers were forced to rely on relatively spare amounts of statistical data in order to make educated guesses about their target audiences.  By contrast today, marketers are swimming in oceans of data, and the challenge has become how to make sense of it all.

data stress

To avoid floundering in a sea of possibilities, choose data points that are most actionable and relevant in your overall marketing plan. Let your marketing objectives guide your actions.

But despite the nearly universal recognition regarding the importance and benefits of one-to-one marketing, one research company finds that most marketers still struggle with creating highly relevant messaging.

Chief among the reasons, marketers cite a lack of time and difficulty in executing sophisticated tactics. As a result, they tend to stick to one-size-fits-all messaging and hope for the best, especially when times are good and people are buying.

When times are not so good, they mistakenly stick to the status quo, and that gives a competitive edge to companies willing to alter their marketing programs to improve cost effectiveness and efficiencies.


Investing in the time and effort to segment for improved relevance yields significant benefits.  Regular and relevant one-to-one customer communications enables a company to better position its products and services.

Taking the time to research and implement automated life cycle campaigns can result in particularly high yields during tough economic times. This has the side benefit of ultimately freeing up marketers to spend time tuning their marketing channels, rather than simply executing campaign after campaign.

This article is a lightly edited extract from a white paper on recession proof marketing published by Silverpop. Go to Silverpop for the full document.

Visit links to associated companies

Maintaining the growth

The present global economic downturn will come to the retail markets for most small businesses sometime in the next year - exactly when, we can't say! But we can prepare now to weather the storm. According to Australia's Shadow Treasurer, it's a storm that will get us wet, but not make us sink. Unfortunately, while most will survive, some won't make it. Be one who does! 'Recession Proof' now! Here are some suggestions  .....

Drive your brand hard..
Imagine you are Zac, of 'Zac's Airconditioning'. You probably sell Mitsubishi and Fujitsu equipment, as well as some other lesser brands. You probably also use these manufacturer's advertising material they thoughtfully provide for you at little or no cost. So, when someone wants to buy an airconditioner, will they think of you, Zac? Or will they look for someone who sells a known brand machine at a favourable price?

Listen, Zac! It's your brand, 'Zac's Airconditioning', you want to have top of mind! It's your brand, 'Zac's' that conveys the quality service, attention to detail in  installation, and uncompromising followup, that makes it wise to buy from you. They are your brand values.

So drive your brand hard, and have people think of 'Zac's' before they think of anything else! Branding is not easy, and it's not done overnight. It will help you 'Recession Proof'. So start now.

Market your brand efficientlydrive brand sales
When the economy starts dipping downward, companies too often cutback on marketing activities, hoping to simply weather the storm. Experienced marketers view recessions as opportunities to grow market share and strengthen their business.

As competitors reduce their marketing activities, proactive companies actually gain market share. Research has found that continuing proactive, effective and cost- efficient marketing campaigns during an economic downturn create much stronger companies when the inevitable recovery gets under way.

When the economy makes it advisable to cut back on your traditional advertising, replace that activity by focussing more on cost-effective database marketing. It's important to be ready to act quickly and decisively. That will help you 'Recession Proof' your business!

Focus on the Markets that Matter
During a recession, your best customer is often a current customer. Acquiring new customers is far more costly than keeping the ones you already have. And during tough economic times, consumers are less likely to take risks with new companies or products, preferring to stick with trusted sources and brands they know.

That's your brand, Zac. Right?

Take the time now to really focus on serving the needs of existing customers, and turn them into loyal brand advocates. Remember: Taking care of customers sends a reassuring message into the marketplace, signalling that the company has staying power and a commitment to key constituents.

Reassuring customers works.  Two ways.
reassure customers When you take special care of your customer base, your competitors will have to use more aggressive and costly measures to try to steal your market share.

Solidifying brand loyalty and revenues during a recession requires sending consistently engaging marketing messages to customers based on a solid understanding of their likes, dislikes, preferences and behaviours.  Savvy marketers understand the feeling customers get from receiving a marketing message meant especially for them.  Perhaps it reflects the answers given in a survey, or offers a promotion or additional information on a desired item or topic, or even acknowledges a negative customer experience by trying to win back their loyalty.

Now is the time to know more about your customer and the marketplace than ever before. Understand how customers define value and what expectations they have regarding your product and services. Then build your brand around it - and do it now!

If you'd like to find out more about developing a brand identity, talk to us, or ask us a question here! Remember, there's no charge or obligation.

This same offer applies in New Zealand. Click Here!