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Sacred Cows: The Digital Marketing and Databases


Digital marketing may have a low barrier to entry making it easy and inexpensive to reach out to target companies/contacts and, albeit with some risk, to create brand awareness (if not executed deftly, spam does anything but create a positive brand image). But these advantages come at a price.

For one, if you are either using Linkedin or emailing regularly, you run a high risk of the contact ‘opting out’ of future communication. Once they have done this, you have lost a target forever under the GDPR regulations, before you have even had any engagement with them. This should give digital marketers food for thought, although all too often it doesn’t.

This, in a way, is surprising. It’s always been axiomatic in marketing that the key component of success is building the right list of prospects. Crudely, a great campaign sent to a weak database will fail. A less-than-polished campaign sent to the right target list is far more likely to succeed. If you can achieve both, you’ve cracked it.
This is where telemarketing comes in. Telemarketing allows companies to approach their target job profiles to discuss a solution, identify interest, allow us to qualify and only then gain the agreement for further information to be emailed. The italicised words are important; collectively, they imply interaction. An unrequested marketing e-mail is spam. An e-mail following up a conversation is information. Not only are mailing a pre-qualified prospect but in the process, you’re also protecting your investment in your database.

There’s more to gain than just that. Telemarketing also makes it easier to discover who else in a target organisation would be appropriate contacts for your solution, hence allowing you to not only maintain but also expand your database with additional qualified prospects. And because there is at least minimal engagement with that contact, they are far less likely to unsubscribe to subsequent approaches meaning that as an organisation, you can contact them in the future. Better traction into an account and better qualified qualification are critical components of marketing success.
Since the introduction of GDPR, within the first year of eCS contacting, by phone, thousands of contacts for different clients and campaigns, we have had only 2 contacts asking us to unsubscribe from being further contacted by our client. This is extraordinarily low compared to returns from digital marketing.

All of this is not to compare digital marketing to telemarketing but it is to suggest that a failure to spread marketing investment across multiple sources or to believe that digital-only marketing is a low-cost panacea are wrong. Most marketing jigsaw puzzles are incomplete without both digital and telemarketing components.

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