Database marketing strategies in the industry: case of Kenyan organizations
Lukandu, Ismail A
Dimba, Beatrice A
Omwenga, Vincent O
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Problem Statement: There are several organizations in both the private and public sector that collect information about their customers but do not proactively leverage on it. In most cases, the collected information would lie unused or underutilized for long periods and yet these same organizations do struggle business-wise. A major point is that they could actually utilize the information to create new avenues to the benefit of the organizations. Methodology: The methodology adopted for this research was to survey several private sector organizations. A sample of thirty-two (32) organizations out fifty (50) accepted to take part in the Database Marketing Survey. This survey consisted of organizations in the private sector ranging from airline industry, information and communication technology industry, retail and services and healthcare industries. We were interested to access information on what types of customer information they typically collected, stored and/or interpreted and how the organization’s databases were generally designed. Further, we needed to determine the frequencies of inaccuracies in the data collected, the liabilities/implications of incorrect data, the applied techniques (systems) to maintain data integrity and the maintenance systems and of the databases, which database formats were most successful, which procedures of data gathering were most reliable and subtly, which off-the-shelf programs were better for design of a customer database for the organizations. Results: Our preliminary analysis indicated these organizations routinely collected and stored customer information for various purposes. It was noticed that though most organizations collected data, it was mostly inaccurate, duplicate, inconsistent and non-standard. In this regard, it was extremely difficult to really harness or leverage on it. Due to this state of affairs, the organizations could not easily relate to the fact that the core data errors could be a pointer to lost revenue, lost opportunities or money wasted pursuing false assumptions or inaccurate accounts. Conclusions: The type of database design used by the private sector industries in Kenya is largely dependent on the “Off-the-Shelf” programs. The design of a customer database for an organization was largely related to the type of “off-the-Shelf” with a correlation coefficient of 0.738. Most organizations collected and stored data that can be described to be personal information from the customers and this information was predominantly used for the purposes of business growth, that is, sales at 73.91% and marketing at 56.62% though not strategically.