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Thursday, April 26, 2018
Article written by Craig Lutz-Priefert

Small Business Marketing Review - Strategic Database Marketing

Undecided if database marketing is right for your small business? Unlike many of the marketing recommendations we make, database marketing really isn’t a good fit for every small business. But…we can suggest a book that can help you decide. That book is by Arthur Hughes--Strategic Database Marketing. We recommend you pick up the Second Edition.

A few years ago Customer Relationship Management or CRM was all the buzz in marketing--and with good reason. Managing customer relations can lead to increased profits for a business. Unfortunately, much of what was written about CRM was from a technical, computer/systems side and focused on very expensive solutions for large corporations. We are fans of Arthur Hughes because he explains the principles behind database marketing in a way a small business owner can understand.

We read the first edition of Strategic Database Marketing back in the mid-90s, and this second edition at the start of the Millennium. The 2nd edition is far more readable for a non-marketing person; plus the updated edition includes advice on integrating the internet into your database marketing.

This book is not a quick and easy read. But, if your small business has a customer base that you can conceivably reach by database marketing, then this is the best book to start with. More than most marketing decisions, a commitment to successful database marketing takes a true commitment from the owner. If you don’t have such a commitment, it will be very tough for you staff or outside vendors to succeed.

Again, be advised: this is a book that will take some time to plow through. Many of the books we review are built to be fairly quick reads that contain solid marketing advice that is usually “hidden in plain sight” from many small business owners. Arthur Hughes’ book is best read with a highlighter and, at times, a calculator.

Because at the end of the day, the beauty of database marketing is that it’s measurable. For you bottom-line oriented small business owners that get tired of our talk of Brand or Packaging, the emphasis that Hughes places on ROI should be quite welcome. This book is full of math examples that enable a Chief Marketer to understand the basics of database marketing.

You don’t have to be a statistics wizard to read the book; although basic business sense is certainly helpful.

At its core, Hughes’ thesis is simple: companies can implement database marketing to improve their sales through building stronger relationships with their best customers.

The challenge, of course, is actually pulling it off. Many have tried, not all successfully. Hughes has some case studies that you can use to help you avoid some of the more costly mistakes some of the large corporate marketers have made. Strategic Database Marketing is a minimal yet crucial first investment in database marketing for any small business marketer prior to spending buckets of money on hardware, software, or consulting.

Remember: Brand (who you are) + Package (your Face to the Customer) + People (customers and employees) = Marketing Success.

© 2006 Marketing Hawks
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