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How Data Mining and Internal Marketing Can Boost Your Sales

Mar 15, 2008
Data mining is a niche marketing method that allows you to link data to your customer and prospect profile. This data allows you to market directly to those that are most likely to need, want and be able purchase your goods and services.

Conceptually this dramatically increases your probability for a sale.

Internal marketing is controlled and run by you. You may contract out certain parts of your internal marketing plan, such as advertising, but the overall plan is managed by you. After all, if you don't do it, who will?

Effective marketing should bring your business a steady stream of good prospects as well as keep your company foremost in the minds of your current customers. It is management's responsibility to make this happen.

First, understand what data you need and why you need it. Second, try to get data that is "cleaner" so your results will be less flawed.

Obviously bad data is a waste of time and money as the effort expended is not on the optimal targeted niche market. Any effort that is not on the targeted niche bull's eye is in most instances wasted effort.

Once this data is available, it must be analyzed to sort out what your prospects need and how your business meets that need.

Whatever data mining strategy you use, it should align very closely to your business strategy of generating optimal results. That is why you are in business, no?

Apply a good analysis that targets your prospect or customer profile. You can do a technical analysis or an 'anecdotal' analysis to find out the best ways to reach your target markets. Or do both; by gaining perspective you gain insight.

Focus on at least one primary benefit your prospect gets from your products and services. It is a good idea to look at the entire list of benefits your products/services can deliver; intuitively the most important benefits would become marketing 'hooks'.

Design some form of a "Call to Action" that generates a specific result, such as a visit to your store or a phone inquiry.

Simply knowing your business is there is OK but it does not mean a sale or even a potential sale. The important point is to focus on the customer and prospect profile you create and market to that profile.

Make sure your marketing stands out so it will be noticed. Remember that pretty is nice but it might not stand out. Consider being bodacious to get noticed.

It's OK to use tricks to attract attention but benefits are what sell. Make sure your marketing efforts don't appear as if you are hustling gimmicks.

Timing is critical. Make sure your message is a timely and relevant to your prospects. To sweeten the pie, add incentives such as a discount if purchased before a certain date.

Track your responses, refine your approach, and market again. Repeat consistently for better results. Remember the best and most accurate data is gathered internally and consistently.

Getting that good data is the key to successful data mining marketing. The good news is that data is becoming more available.

Good data is now available on new parents, homeowners, travelers, car owners, etc. It's up to you to find and mine that data.

With all the above considered, apply your business expertise and business knowledge to your advantage. If you see a new trend in your business, take that trend into account in your marketing analysis.

Use what you know, but be hungry and open to learn more. One of the real advantages to using data mining is that it can help you learn more about your markets.

The more you know, the more competitive you will be.
Although data mining is relatively new, it is showing great promise for big ticket and repeatable sales.

The real potential for mid-size and smaller businesses is the ability to combine new technologies in marketing applications that are innovative and results driven in large niche markets.

For example, by combining analyzed data with variable image printing, personalized mailings can reach high probability prospects with products and services they need. These personalized messages stand out and are likely to be saved and used by the prospect since they are relevant.

In today's market just "getting the word out" is not enough. As we are bombarded with thousands of marketing messages each day, simply being one of the crowd does not bring results.

The good news is that by using customer and prospect data you can internally target market those customers that can afford and benefit from your products and services.

What else do you need?
About the Author
Jack Deal is the owner of Jack D. Deal Business Consulting, Santa Cruz, CA. Related articles may be found at http://www.jddeal.com/blog/business and http://www.freeandinquiringmind.typepad.com
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