3 Recommendations for Maintaining a Clean Customer Database

Every building products company should start thinking like a media company.

That’s a topic we’ve covered on more than one occasion… most recently when we discussed the idea of how brands can take a journalistic approach to their content and building products marketing.

But thinking like a media company means more than developing content that the audience wants. There’s also the small matter of the audience itself.

Every media company is concerned with three main areas: editorial (or content), advertising and circulation. It’s the third one – circulation – that is sometimes overlooked by brands seeking to take a media company-like approach to their marketing.

A Never-Ending Job

For a media company, its circulation (subscribers, readers, listeners, viewers) is its lifeblood. It is the audience they cultivate through their content. And the “product” they deliver to advertisers.

A media property’s circulation and audience numbers are typically controlled and audited – so that advertisers have confidence that the people they’re reaching, are who the media company says they are.

For brands, while not really referred to as “circulation,” their audience database of customers, prospects, leads and followers is just as important. Perhaps more so, because these audiences hold the key to company revenue.

For that reason, it’s critical for companies to pay as close attention to their database – their “circulation” – as media companies do.

Yet, many companies fall short in this area. They spend a great amount of time and resources producing content… over confident that their messages are reaching the right people. They’re under the impression that their database is accurate, populated with individuals who are the right fit for their messages, interested in their products, and are current or prospective buyers.

In most cases, however, that’s not the case. A circulation database is a continually changing and evolving entity. And brands would be well-served to make sure theirs are accurate.

That means approaching the database the way a media company would – make updating and refining your databases an ongoing job.

Following are three recommendations for companies and brands to keep their “circulation” database in good order.

Keep tabs on them

A database is an ever-changing entity. It’s made up of individuals (people) whose needs, desires and interests change over time.

It’s important for marketers to recognize this. While someone may have shown interest in your content three years ago, their needs have very likely changed in the time that has followed.

So, it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse of your database. The best way to do this is through interactive content… including polls and surveys. This kind of content can give you clues about how engaged and interested your audience is. And how you might need to adjust your content.

Give them a chance to re-up…or opt out

This might sound scary to a lot of marketers, but sometimes the best way to keep your database clean is to give people a chance to leave.

As the saying goes, “If you love someone, set them free.”

People join your list because they’re interested in your product and what you have to say. But there might come a time that they just don’t need your content anymore. Maybe their situation changed. Or maybe they’re just no longer interested.

If you regularly and explicitly give people the chance to stay on your list
– or to opt out of it – you will certainly lose some folks. But the ones who stay will be true enthusiasts and believers in your product and brand.

Produce great content

Of course, the best way to maintain a healthy database is to continually produce content that resonates with your audience.

The more you can stay relevant and relatable by offering content that provides value… the more robust and engaged your audience will be. And, the longer they’ll stick around. They might even bring some of their friends aboard.

And that’s how your database grows.