If you went to your local hardware mega-store and had a blank check to buy what you needed, you could get everything necessary to build a home from the foundation up – with one major exception. When you buy your concrete, boards, bricks, and more, you may lack the experience needed to put them together into something resembling a house. Your marketing database is like that mega-store, filled with everything you need to succeed, but without database management to build a state-of-the-art data-assisted marketing program, you’re not getting full value from it.
If you’re opting for do-it-yourself marketing automation and don’t have a database manager’s guidance, you could be missing out on some key features of the technology.
The Great Data Migration
You’ve invested in an automation solution complete with the latest in database technology, but just as a pile of building materials isn’t a house, the software doesn’t do much for you until you get the data in place. Data migration is a more complex operation than it might first appear to be. The information has to be normalized, standardized, and moved with a minimum of loss. Part of a database manager’s role is to re-house data in a lossless and efficient way. Once your data’s in its new home, you’re ready to put it to work.
Installation versus Implementation
What do you want your prospect and customer data to do for you? How well is your data integrated across multiple departments? What insights can your analytics provide? Installing software is not the same as full implementation of it, which takes time and training. Your database manager can help you set up the processes you need to keep the system running smoothly and train your personnel to get the most from it. Expect the process to take some time – how much depends on your system, your staff’s familiarity with marketing technology, and the size of your team, among other factors – but your database manager can also help you set up a timetable for implementation.
Having the right tools for the job is only part of success. The other part is having someone who knows how to use them. DIY projects don’t always turn out how they were meant to, sometimes causing cost overruns or offering incomplete solutions. Marketing database services take the raw materials of success, your prospect and customer data, and transform them into something greater than the sum of its parts.
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