As marketers, we are all looking to reach "nirvana": targeting the right person with the right message at the right time. It's the clear path to driving conversion rates that exceed expectations.
The days of blasting promotion messages to all—or, at the very least, many—are dead and gone. The conversation has changed. We must put ourselves in the customers' shoes and target them individually as best we can through data-driven strategies.
What's more, this concept is no longer just a myth or impossible to put into practice. The fact is that excuses such as bandwidth, budgets, and lack of data access are just that—weak explanations. There are ways to quickly and effectively harnessing customer and prospect information you most likely already have.
Here are five ways to do so, in rapid fashion.
1. Make a list
If you are a multichannel marketer, you likely have a lot of customer data floating around in silo databases, such as customer relationship management (CRM), email, point of service (POS), and Web analytics. Yet many marketers don't know where their customer data is being stored or how to get to it.
Do some digging and make a list. Dust off an old copy of your preferred flowcharting software to document the current state of your data flows. This "state of the state" view will allow you to identify integration points moving forward.
2. Build an alliance with your IT folks and marketing-technology vendors
Morgan Witt is senior strategist for Red Door Interactive, an Internet presence management firm that helps organizations (such as Overstock.com, Cricket Communications) profit from their Web initiatives. Email him at email@example.com.