Within professional services, “dynamic databasing” will be America's most impelling and fastest growing marketing investment. It will change everything we ever thought we knew about demographics, psychographics (lifestyles), segmentation, silos, cluster codes and more.
Dynamic databasing can be thought of as a system to create a central repository for all you can accumulate with your existing client base; present and most important, future relationships.
The new rules
Author Frederick Newell, in his seminal text, “New Rules of Marketing”, says: “For years, we have marketed to the averages. Now, we will market to the differences.”
The driving force behind the strategic value of dynamic databasing is insight focusing not only on the “expected”, such as demographic and psychographics, but on the “unexpected”.
The New Age dynamics includes points of focus such as the REM Metric. Take action on this tool and you'll be able to understand and manage the buying behavior of your most promising clients. The metric deals with recency of contact, frequency of contact, and monetary value of contact. It's just what you think it is, an opportunity for category increase and, as crass as it may seem, here's the bottom line take-away — keep 'em coming back, so you can keep 'em buying.
Additional unexpected data that I promise will serve you well in your collection process include: family situation (married, single, divorced, special needs children), business situation, net worth category, personal interests, and hopes — dream — desires that may be involved in the client's lifetime value to you.
Today, the most important variable for segmenting clients is “buying behavior.” We don't learn about individual needs from demographics. That just can't identify buyers. Customer behavior continues to be the key. Having a dynamic database with a REM Metric will assure that you will be one giant step ahead of the competition. Having a dynamic database for your Gulf Coast enterprise in the future will no longer be a competitive advantage. Not having it will be competitive a disadvantage. It's that important!
Consider the Gulf Coast Builder who sells a starter two-bedroom tract home to a recently married working couple. Your dynamic database tells you over time, and beyond the basic stats, that the new lady of the house, has two older sisters, each with three children. Further, you've noted that the lady's mother lives just 20 minutes down the road. Would you think this young couple may be looking for a larger home in about two year's time? That's the power of the new age dynamic database. Do your post sale marketing. Remember please: Keep 'em coming back, so you can keep 'em buying!
Bank on it
In community banking, this simply means enticing customers to buy across product or service lines. In this professional financial services sector, the odds of keeping customers increase greatly as accounts are added to a customer's portfolio. Enter the dynamic database — banking executives say if a customer was only a checking account the bank's odds of retaining a customer are only one-to-one. With a CD or savings account the odds jump to 10-to-1. Again: Keep 'em coming back so you can keep 'em buying!
Just do it
Can you begin to appreciate how a dynamic databases properly managed and promoted could work for other professional services? How about the law firm that accomplished a simple will for a high profile divorced local CEO with one child.
Your dynamic database has your entry that he's attending the major local charity events with the same wealthy single socialite. Might this insight present an early contact opportunity? For your law firm?
Can you begin to see how other services professions like financial planners, insurance and real estate brokers, architects, CPA's and others can benefit?
In a seminar with the editors of the Direct Mail Marketing Association, it was said: “In some ways we need to go back to the old way of treating people when they were on 3-by-5 cards. They become real people and you had a certain respect for them. Now that everything is computerized and on printouts, they are thought of in segments and not as people”.
The final word
Your dynamic database will give you automatic opportunities to create a one-on-one dialogue with your clients. If the only time your client hears from you is when you are trying to sell him something, that's not dialogue. If you can make every client contact more meaningful and mutually profitable than the last, you will be building brand equity from the client up.
These are the new rules of professional marketing services. Play by them and win!
Lou Lasday creates action-oriented strategic marketing initiatives for Gulf Coast emerging companies. He has been a general partner of an Ad Age Top 100 marketing communications firm and Regional President of the American Marketing Association. Lasday can be reached at [email protected].