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Building a marketing database

In GDPR times, it’s more challenging to build mailing lists. These regulations stipulate, among other things, that contact persons must actively agree to be contacted. You can’t simply e-mail to purchased address lists, or to contact lists of professional associations. Yet email marketing remains a strong means of staying top-of-mind with your target audiences.

Why build a marketing database?

It's hard to tell your whole story in a single moment. Often prospects go through a process of awareness and search for concrete solutions before they are ready to be converted into a customer.

That’s why it’s important to keep track of the visitors who present themselves on the website or on social media in a marketing database. This will allow you to tell your story step by step, and build a relationship of trust. That way you are in the forefront when a concrete opportunity presents itself.

A strong landing page

Building a marketing database starts with a strong landing page, with a dedicated landing page form. The general contact form on a company website is mainly used by existing customers or ready-to-buy prospects. However, if you want to build a database with new contacts, this general form will not be of much use.

Contact information is seen as a means of payment today. In exchange for this information, you must offer something valuable. A good landing page serves as a kind of product page on which a certain piece of content is sold in exchange for contact details. Such a page not only contains a form and a clear call to action, it also demonstrates the quality of content that is offered.

The curse of thin content

‘Thin content’ is a term that describes content created for marketing purposes only. Think of a free webinar that turns out to be a sales pitch, or a free ebook that’s really a promotional flyer and therefore lacks any added value for the target audience. Or blogs where you find articles that were created only to boost SEO rankings.

All too often such content is used to encourage visitors to convert. Keep in mind that sharing contact details should not be the end of a marketing campaign, but the beginning of a fruitful collaboration. Thin content is therefore out of the question.
Strong, authentic content is an investment that does not only convert. Good blog articles, videos and ebooks convey the added value of a company. They turn every moment of contact into something valuable.

Attract traffic

Once the website has a good landing page with solid content, it is important to attract readers. This can be done in various ways. SEO can provide a steady supply of visitors in the long run. However, if you want to start faster, a campaign on social media or on search engines such as Google is recommended. It is important that the message in the ad is in line with that on the landing page. In this way, the visitor comes to the website with a clear expectation.

Online advertising requires knowledge of the different platforms. Choosing the right platform, the right target group and the right bidding strategy is crucial. The combination of these factors will ensure that the right contacts are attracted at the correct cost.

The advantage of digital marketing is that everything is measurable. If you are starting a new campaign, follow it closely from the start. Small adjustments along the way can have a big impact on the final results.

Broadening vs. enriching a marketing database.

In addition to broadening the marketing database, enrichment can also add value. This way you get to know the contacts in the database better. This allows you to offer content that is most relevant today.

Enrichment of the database can be done in an active way. Think of small polls on the website. Platforms such as HubSpot offer intelligent solutions for this. This way, returning visitors always get a different question and you learn a little more with each visit.

There is also the possibility to get to know the visitor of the website through observation. What content does he or she view on the website? Which documents do they download? This information not only provides insight into topics that are of interest to a specific contact person, it also provides insight into a visitor's purchase intention. For example, a visitor who looks up the technical details of your product will be further along in the buyer’s journey than someone who only reads the blog posts.

Lead nurturing

This brings us to the essence of database marketing: lead nurturing. Database marketing is more than sending a newsletter. It is an interaction that starts with the people in the database. A meaningful story is built up step by step. This story usually starts with general, inspiring content on the blog, while the newsletter invites you to visit the blog regularly.

It is better to offer other content to contacts that you know are more advanced in their buying process. Think of a testimonial, a how-to video, an online training, ... Again, it is important not to put on the sales cap too quickly. Give visitors valuable content that really helps them and keep track of how they deal with this.

An effective marketing database will also indicate when someone is marketing qualified, so the sales team can further guide this valuable lead in the buying process. At what point is the lead turned over to sales? 

At Living Stone, we can help finetune your  inound marketing, and support you with content strategy and creation. To find out more, contact Anne-Mie, or call at +32 (0)55 59 10 01.

Anne-Mie Vansteelant
Anne-Mie Vansteelant
COO | Managing Partner at Living Stone

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