By Stefan Eyram
PART 2 OF 4
Historically marketers have bundled the issue of privacy together with permission. While both are related, they are in fact very different. Permission is an invitation to collect and use personal information and to market to an individual. Privacy, on the other hand, is all about what information you collect, what you do with that personal information and how you ensure its integrity and security.
The healthcare and government sectors have been dealing with the issue of privacy for many years. With the Internet, email, wide area networks (WANs), wireless and “hackers” the security of personal information and the privacy of individuals is at risk like never before.
In its simplest form, profiling is asking recipients about their preferences so that marketers can provide them with relevant information and offers on products and services that are of interest to them. This information can be added to the data we collect from various touchpoints and sources, all of which should be aggregated into a single, holistic view of each person. Whether you call this CRM or not, in the end it is all about being a good marketer and understanding your markets.
As marketers, why do we collect personal information and track things like website and email behaviour? Data is knowledge and knowledge is power. Data-driven marketing has proven effective at customer retention, to cross-sell and up-sell, in reducing client acquisition cycle times and costs, etc. To be effective at this you must develop a profile of each individual in your database. These profiles of demographic and behavioural information, such as purchase histories, will allow a marketer to segment their total database into clusters of similar people (customers, prospects, most valuable/profitable customers, most active customers, lapsed customers, etc.).
The smart emarketer collects profile data at all touchpoints (point of sale, telemarketing, etc.), uses contests, surveys and polls to collect additional information on each individual, and then aggregates all this with other data sources (order history, web logs, email metrics, etc.) to create powerful customer and prospect profiles. Once assembled, analysis and computer modeling can help them better understand the database and identify the best customers to retain and the best prospects to convert to customers.
Stefan Eyram is Senior Director at Connectus Direct Solutions, a provider of best-of-breed e-marketing technology. For more information please contact Mr. Eyram via email at email@example.com or by phone at 416-944-3760 ext. 228.