4 tips for managing your contact database. Matthew Johnson - Head of Marketing by Matthew Johnson, Head of Marketing

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Contact Management and Segmentation.

Your contacts are the most valuable resource and the ones most likely to help you grow your business. So what is the best practice for managing the contacts you have? Let’s start with a definition and a quick look at the tool which is central to contact management. 

What does CRM stand for?

According to Salesforce, a contact relationship management tool, or CRM is “the process of recording contacts’ details and tracking their interactions with a business”. 

This can be most effectively done using software which allows businesses to keep track of their conversations, maintain service levels and leverage a wide range of data to improve the customer experience throughout the sales journey and beyond. 

Typically, a CRM is software that’s used to easily store and source a contact’s information, including their name, contact history, email information and more.

Four top tips for managing your contact management strategy and CRM.

  1. Keeping a clean database

Your database is the key to ensuring you stay on top of the interactions you have with your customers, prospects and partners.

A clean database will help ensure that you have good and meaningful conversations with all of the people that are part of your current customer database, sales journey and marketing campaigns. 

The best way to ensure your database remains clean and useful is to carry out a database audit. This is a chance to see where your contact is in their relationship with you, your company and your service offer. 

  1. Plan for success

There’s an old saying known as the 7 P’s… “Proper preparation and planning prevents p*#s poor performance”. It sounds simple but the more time you spend planning, the more likely your campaign and strategy is to succeed. Which leads on to the next point… 

  1. Leverage your database and contact management strategy.

Your strategy is there to help ensure you have successful and meaningful conversations with your customers, prospects, and partners at all stages of the buyer’s journey. This extends beyond the sale where you aim to delight them with a great customer experience. 

A good strategy and software helps you to: 

  • Create more targeted lead nurturing campaigns
  • Have more meaningful conversations with contacts
  • Segment and personalise experiences
  • See the whole picture of every contact interaction
  • Organise contacts to keep a healthy database
  • Integrate contact information with other tools you use 
  1. Segment your contacts into clusters

Contacts should always be treated as humans. They have needs, wants and desires like every human does. Understanding what motivates your contacts to take a desired action will help ensure that you are providing a product/service that best fits their needs.

One way of ensuring that you are best fulfilling the needs is to create generalised buyer personas

A buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer profile. It details their demographics, goals, challenges, wants and more so you can better target your audience with content created with the buyer persona in mind. They also help sales and customer service teams deliver a better, more personalised customer experience.  

Segmenting your audience according to your buyer personas can help tailor your message to be more relevant and engaging to the people receiving it. This should increase the chances of them taking the desired action, like getting in touch or signing up for a product demo. 

How will this help content marketing strategy?

Understanding your contacts and how they behave is critical to creating stories that relate to them. It sounds simple, but the better your content strategy, the better your chances of success. 

Marketing guru Seth Godin says “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell”. So this is your chance to tell your story. Stories can come in the form of a testimonial, a great customer service experience or even a challenge faced that was resolved by your solution. 

The key is that the story is authentic; authenticity builds trust. 

Covid has created an unprecedented level of anxiety for businesses and individuals, and we hear many stories of struggles everyday. This creates a real challenge for marketers. How therefore do you create campaign messages that meet your audience’s needs? 

The first thing you need to do is to create a story that resonates with the user. 

To have meaningful conversations with your prospects, leads and customers you need to be able to create contextual content that shows them you’re listening to their wants and needs, and that you know how to solve their challenges. The more relevant the message, the more likely your user is to engage with it.

Your audiences are real people that you provide value to. And in return for that value, they help you grow your business. 

So what have we learned?

  1. It’s vitally important to have a great Contact Management and Segmentation Strategy
  2. Planning is key
  3. Use a CRM to help understand, engage with, and better serve your audiences (if you don’t have one maybe now is the time to invest). 
  4. Tailor content based on your segmentation strategy using buyer personas
Matthew Johnson - Head of Marketing by Matthew Johnson, Head of Marketing
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