What is your business’s single most valuable asset? (Choose one.)
a. Your staff
b. Your location
c. Your database
d. Your website
You thought I was going to say the correct answer is “d,” right? Wrong. The most valuable asset your business has is one that is going to help it grow for decades to come. Its value can’t be taken away from you by eminent domain, a change in the search engines’ algorithms, or your competition. It is your database of loyal customers.
Obviously, the more information your database contains, the more valuable it is. But, even a simple database that contains only name, address, phone number and email address can take your business from the “slow but steady” growth category to something propelling it forward with much greater speed. (In fact, I also can help you find a database expert that can show you how to mine more from even a simple database.)
My proof? Consider what these obviously database-rich companies have done recently:
• The value of Google’s stock has gone up about 560% since its IPO in August 2004. When I got into this business in 2002, Google was unknown. They definitely were not the first to attain popularity. But, Google has nurtured a powerful database of advertisers, and with its free analytics software allows its advertisers to track sales from their ads. (This is information which Google also can aggregate to enrich its databases.)
• If you have ever shopped at Amazon.com, you have probably received one of their emails informing you about something new related to one of your past purchases. Or you have noticed, on a return visit to their site, products recommended specifically for you that appear on the company’s home page. These examples offer just a peek at the power of Amazon’s databases. Unsurprisingly, Amazon’s stock is up 300% in the past year.
• Beyond that, think about what market dominance did for Netscape, a company that had 85% of the browser market (but no strong database). And what being the first mainstream search engine did for Altavista. Long term—nothing!
A strong database allows your company to mine the lifetime value of a customer—not just obtain a one-time sale. Advertising is expensive, and many companies find it difficult to get a good return on their advertising and marketing dollars. But, if you use your database to increase the number of repeat sales, it is much easier.
If you don’t have a database, you need to start compiling one. Call (210-392-5649 in San Antonio or 720-341-6336 in Denver) or email me, and I can help you. If you do have a database, could you be putting it to better use?
One of the most effective, inexpensive ways to use a database is for ongoing email communications. To find out more about that now, don’t hesitate to contact me.