Demystifying Databases


Demystifying Databases

Why and How to Build a Profit Producting Data Warehouse

Perry and Rhonda Drake of Drake Direct wrote an artilce for Publishing Executive Magazine to help readers understand the steps and issues involved around the build of a marketing database. This article appeared in the May 2007 isssue

We build a marketing database or data warehouse for the main purpose of more efficiently and profitably servicing our customers and prospects today and in the future. When a publisher has many titles or products, both on and offline, or is seeking to expand into new markets, having a data warehouse is a must.

For example, a publisher of several titles that also offers special online content such as webcasts or paid reports must have a marketing database. Without such a database a publisher would not know how to cross sell the various titles or online products or services most effectively. The fulfillment files for each would most likely be separate and distinct and not allow for an efficient usage of information for promotional decision purposes. And, even if all were fulfilled from the same source, the data would likely not be integrated at a customer level nor easily accessible for marketing.

Although a fulfillment file contains a wealth of information, its structure is rigid (built for fulfillment rather than marketing) and it lacks complete information about the customer and typically deals with only one product. Thus, alone it will not meet all of the needs to efficiently target communications to your customers or prospects across the company.

In this article we will discuss the key points that must be taken into consideration to ensure success in the build of a marketing database or data warehouse. In particular, we will discuss the following points:

  • Why Build a Marketing Database
  • Top Reasons Why We Fail
  • What Functional Areas it Must Support
  • Key Profit Drivers
  • Who Will be Using the Database and What it Must Deliver
  • What Should be Stored on the Database
  • How Often Should the Database be Updated
  • Dashboards and Other Tool Considerations
  • Should the Database be Built In-house or Outsourced
  • Quantifying Profit