The Ten Commandments of Marketing Database Content

This is the second issue of an e-letter for direct and database marketing practitioners. The focus is on topics that help you do your job better and make money for your company. In this issue, we will continue our discussion of Best Practices Marketing Database Content. As we indicated last time:

Database content is the "stuff" "the data "that resides in a database. Examples include orders, items, post-demand transactions such as returns, and promotion history. It is independent of technological considerations such as whether the underlying database engine is "say "SQL Server or Oracle, or whether the business intelligence/campaign management software is Alterian or Unica.

There are Ten Commandments that will ensure Best Practices Marketing Database Content:

  1. The data must be maintained at the atomic level.
  2. The data must not be archived or deleted.
  3. The data must be time-stamped.
  4. The semantics of the data must be consistent and accurate.
  5. The data must not be over-written.
  6. Post-demand transaction activity must be kept.
  7. Ship-to/bill-to linkages must be maintained.
  8. All promotional history must be kept.
  9. Proper linkages across multiple database levels must be maintained.
  10. Overlay data must be included, as appropriate.

These are discussed in detail in a two-part article that appeared in the February 1 and May 1, 2007 issues of Multichannel Merchant. The following are links to the articles:

"The First Five Commandments of Database Content Management," Multichannel Merchant, February 1, 2007, and "The Second Five Commandments of Database Content Management," Multichannel Merchant, May 1, 2007.

The extent to which your marketing database violates any of these Ten Commandments is the extent to which your firm's revenues and profits are being artificially limited. A case study at the end of the second article provides a cautionary tale. It describes a well-known retail and direct marketing company that has been in decline. Unfortunately, the firm's marketing database content is unable to support meaningful data mining. This company must rectify the appalling state of its database content to have any chance of reversing its decline!