The question was recently asked on the Focus forum:
"What roles does a database play in building a Brand?"
I'm NOT talking about a database in terms of a raw list of customers or prospects.
I AM talking about a database in terms of a Customer Information System, in which we've captured and manage customer information (demographic information and behavioral information).
Now, on to the thing that we want to build - the BRAND.
A big characteristic of a successful Brand is TRUST. People become loyal to a brand, because they trust the Brand (actually, they're trusting the company behind the brand).
So, we want the people in the market (aka the Contacts in our Database) to Trust us.
We can build Trust by engaging with customers and prospects in a way that THEY find RELEVENT, PERSONALIZED and TIMELY for them, based on who they are as individuals.
So, how can a database help us do that?
We define our customers and prospects through data comprised of purchase patterns, expressed preferences, responses to campaigns and prior engagements. And then we deliver different messages, engagements and offers to different Contacts, based on their unique data-defined characteristics. If done well, you’re messaging/engagements will resonate with the Contacts; they'll feel like you know them, you understand them, and they'll begin to trust you.
So, if you keep a fresh, current, well-managed database with the right data defining each customer, and if you use that data to communicate, engage and transact in very personalized, relevant ways for each customer, they'll trust you more and more. And in the process, you'll be building a Trustworthy Brand.