By Kate Warnock, Social Media Manager at GuideWell
My interview with Arden Buchanan, GuideWell Connect’s director of database marketing, took a left turn about ten minutes into the podcast recording. Our topic was supposed to focus on hyperpersonalization, or the ability to use data models to help drive the right offer to the right audience at the right time. In this age when consumers expect a Brand to remember past visits and customize their current experience (without being creepy – too much familiarity is as bad as not enough), hyperpersonalization is an essential marketing tool. Yet what I found most fascinating when talking with Arden is how he optimizes his database marketing team to be able to create such marketing magic.
It can come down to this: the difference between a successful marketing campaign and one that’s a costly mistake might just be your database marketing team. Consider the skill sets required for the person building your data models, to the person who can interpret that data and craft compelling messaging points for a target audience, to the analyst who conducts match backs – and recognizes anomalies. An effective team knows their particular roles but also look at the bigger picture.
Listen to our most recent episode in our GuideWell Insights podcast series, “How to Consumer,” and you’ll hear five ways to optimize your own database marketing team:
- Everyone shares the same goals. Every person, regardless of his or her role, has ownership of the campaign’s success. The volume of leads generated and sales converted are a shared goal.
- Diversity is key. The GuideWell Connect team is comprised of people with a scientific, creative, IT and market research background. Few actually have their degree in marketing. Yet Arden finds his team’s non-marketing experience complements their ability to “see” the end-to-end picture of each campaign. Many have also changed roles within the team, so that today’s data modeler might be tomorrow’s marketing manager.
- Data quality is an on-going process. According to Arden, all it takes is a single record to turn a data model to “mush.” This fact is why Arden hires members who are extremely detail-oriented.
- Continuous improvement is a team standard. No one on the GuideWell Connect team believes that data models are “gold-plated” and unchanging. Rather, they are encouraged to constantly vet new data elements that might improve a model. They’re also expected to be cognizant of market changes and changing consumer behaviors that could make yesterday’s model obsolete.
- Database marketing doesn’t end with the sale. A knowledgeable DBM team can create models with member behaviors and data that generate meaningful communications at touch points throughout the life of that contract.
Finally, as enviable as Arden’s team might be, not every organization is able to invest in a robust database (Arden’s team uses 800+ data points to create models), or the team savvy enough to use it. It’s here where Arden advises that businesses know the sweet spot for their success and their event horizon – and then determine what can be outsourced.
What to learn more about Arden Buchanan and the GuideWell Connect database marketing team? Just click Connect and let us know how he can help you. Be sure to check back for our next episode of “How to Consumer,” coming soon!