Digital database marketing – a marriage to celebrate

Businesses are striving for new insights and maximum ROI from their customer data available across multiple digital channels.

This data, and the way it is used for improved business performance, is constantly evolving. Whereby once web analytics and database marketing were used independently of each other, the two can now be brought together to provide powerful insights and value to an organisation’s marketing efforts.

Historically both disciplines were seen as highly valuable, but each approached their role from a different perspective.  Web analytics focussed on developing an understanding of interactions with a website, for example identifying the products most clicked on and key drop-off points.

Web analytics has recently matured into digital analytics to account for the proliferation of digital channels, but the key tenet of understanding overall behaviour and trends remains. 

In comparison, database marketing has evolved over many years into a vast marketing discipline using a raft of well-proven methodologies to explore data and generate insight. The insight which is unveiled can be aggregated, segmented, drilled down into, but is essentially based on creating an understanding of individual customers by enabling patterns to be recognised, explored and understood.

Both digital analytics and database marketing still add considerable insight and value to an organisation’s marketing, however the challenges today’s marketers face cannot be solved by viewing these two as distinct. 

No longer is increasing website conversion rates or driving highly targeted email campaigns enough.  Now marketers must be able to understand their individual customers across all channels in order to engage and entice them in the ways that each customer chooses. 

The ability to understand individual customers’ behaviours across digital channels has previously been a stumbling block as the data has not had the level of detail required to do so.  Nor has it been available in real-time to drive actions such as real-time website personalisation.  But this is changing with real-time streams of individual-level data now available to feed into customer analytics and engagement programmes. 

The issue is now often having the people with the right skills, experience and mind-sets to turn that data into better marketing decisions and actions. 

Those people are not commonplace; however, there is a route which an increasing number of companies are taking which involves bringing together the best techniques, data and ideas from both digital analytics and database marketing into digital database marketing.  

Companies are approaching this in several ways.  Some are recruiting the rare specialists who combine these two sets of skills into roles such as Head of Targeting.  Others are developing much closer integration between their existing web analytics and marketing teams by giving them shared projects, goals and resources. 

Whichever route is taken, the common factor is that these organisations understand the importance of having the data, skills and experience required to apply the most trusted methodologies of database marketing to the new multi-channel digital analytics world. The results they are achieving are truly increasing customer engagement, loyalty, marketing effectiveness and ultimately revenue. 

To read more about these results and the activities undertaken to achieve them download our white paper here.

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7 Mar 2013, 8:14 p.m.

Organization has a z, not an s. It's not Organisation.