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What is Database Marketing?

Database marketing is an interactive form of direct marketing that uses databases of potential, and existing customers to generate personalized marketing messages, in hopes of promoting products, services, brand awareness, and other marketing initiatives.

Methods of communication in database marketing can be any platform from email and postal mail campaigns to direct marketing. Database marketing is essentially a method of direct marketing in which great attention is paid to the analysis of data, for the use of statistical techniques to develop operational models that aid in predicting customer behaviors. Those prediction models are then used to identify and establish communications with candidates whose behaviors make them appear most likely to receive marketing messages favorably. The greater the amount of data marketers have about existing customers, the more accurate the behavior models tend to be, and the easier it becomes to identify new potential customers.  


Businesses of every size and shape, from small-to-medium-sized businesses, to enterprise level corporations, use the two main types of marketing databases. There are many different ways in which data may be applied to accomplish many different types of marketing goals. The two main types of database marketing are:

  1. Consumer Databases

Primarily geared toward companies that sell to consumers (B2C). They provide very basic contact information typically of the same order as that which might be found on a public records search. If marketers dig any deeper into the lives of private consumers, they risk bringing privacy concerns into the equation, and can become counterproductive for B2C organizations that are working to build customer loyalty.

However, B2C database marketers seek to have as much data available about potential and existing customers as possible. B2C companies tend to have a larger and much more broad range of potential customers to factor into the demographics of existing customers. When marketing to their existing customers, more sophisticated marketers will build elaborate databases of consumer information that may include names, home addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, demographics, history of shopping and purchases with the company, and the history of past communications.

  1. Business Databases

Typically much more broad, deep, granular, detailed, and advanced in terms of the information they provide because they are less restricted by the same privacy laws as consumer databases. However, B2B organizations draw from much more narrow pools of businesses and prospects.


While the idea of storing customer data in electronic formats to use them for database marketing initiatives has been around for decades now, the computing power and software systems that are readily available today make it possible to gain comprehensive histories of client behavior onscreen while the business is transacting with each individual, producing business intelligence for the company in real time. Marketers trained in the use of these tools are able to carry out customer nurturing using consumer mailing lists in an attempt to communicate with each individual within an organization using the right information to meet that client’s need. Ultimately, the goal is to help customers progress through a process of identifying problems, discovering or creating resolutions, selecting the best one of those options, and then finalizing the purchasing decision.  

Database marketing is essentially a method of direct marketing in which great attention is paid to the analysis of data, for the use of statistical techniques to develop operational models to predict customer behaviors, which are then used to identify and select candidates who seem most likely to receive marketing messages favorably, and establish communication with them. The greater the amount of data marketers have about customers, the more accurate the behavior models tend to be. Because the complexities of B2B marketing and the intricacies of corporate operations, the demands placed on any marketing organization to formulate the business process by which such a sophisticated series of procedures may be brought into existence are significant. It is often for this reason that large marketing organizations retain the services of experts in marketing process strategy, and information technology, or a marketing IT process strategist, Although more technical in nature than often marketers require, a system integrator can also play an equivalent role to the marketing IT process strategist, particularly at the time that new technology tools need to be configured and rolled out.


Database Marketing relies heavily on on third-party sources of data, and there are a number of providers of such data, including BB Direct. However, it’s important to note that because data analysis is fairly complex, sometimes companies with large databases of customer information risk becoming data rich and information poor. There’s an old adage about pouring the ocean into a teacup that makes a nice analogy.

Another one of the major challenges of database marketing is the reality of obsolescence, including the lag time between when data was acquired, and when the database is used. Because the most effective mailers require experience-backed consultation, not just a salesperson with a list industry vocabulary, our mission is to provide those kinds of services to help you create positive results in your direct mail marketing, and email marketing campaigns.

BB Direct is a provider of direct marketing data like business mailing lists, email lists, as well as data related services. But even more so, we are a group of highly proficient professionals who know our product and our industry. Our company was born from our passion for making a difference in data efficiency  for the auto industry. We resist the temptation to be all things to all people, and instead, remain focused on what we do best.