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Idata I have been “in data” since the beginning of the 80’s, wow am I dating myself here! So, it does amaze me when people come to us and have no concept of the value they possess in data. Data is the core of your business value and the value in how you organize relationships.

Now, don’t get me wrong, we also suffer from cobbler shoe syndrome here and are not perfect, but one thing I can tell you is where my data is and how much I have and how we use it.

So let’s cover some data basics and then briefly talk about how this helps your relationship marketing engine.

Step One – Who owns it?

For the data, we believe this is you the owner or the business, but who owns this whole process and do you have confidence that this owner will get the data in the right places and do the right things? Ask these very important questions, remember this data is worth money and relationships.

Step Two – What kind of data to you have?

Organize your data into sections of at least prospects (leads) and clients. You can get more micro than this and break into segments, however if you get this part down, the rest will seem easier for sure.

Step Three – Where are you storing it?

Pick an open platform, while we will even be happy if you say Excel or Outlook, and even happier if you say the words CRM or our Constant Contact system or something like that, we will look very perplexed if you say, “I don’t know” or “all over the place.”  You are leaving money and relationships on the table and your marketing efforts will cost more in the long run. So pick a solid reliable storage system.

Step Four – How are you collecting?

While it’s not always a perfect world, many systems today allow you to collect data directly from your website directly into your storage system, CRM or email marketing system. So look at how you capture data and make sure it has a pathway for automated collection if at all possible.

Step Five – Connect to Community 

NOW make sure you have a pathway to your relationship marketing efforts. For your external relationship building, tie all your external landing pages, micro-sites and other collection points back to your system. Then make sure your system has a pathway to establish social connection to your new data records. Maybe you have an auto invite that goes out to new records, that simply invites people to follow you on Twitter or LinkedIn or like you on Facebook. Perhaps you have  some integration to find them directly in the social platform that you are using and reach out. Either way, it is important that you have a pathway from collection to community.

You are now ready for the rest of relationship marketing and your community building machine. Hopefully, now you can see the importance of these simple steps for good data.


For over 30 years, Dean DeLisle has demonstrated his ability to accelerate companies, stimulate business development, and make operations more efficient. He has harnessed the ever-evolving power of technology, paired with his consulting, coaching, and training skills, to implement sound business practices. Using the power of online social networks, as well as traditional media, he has helped numerous clients pack the room for events, establish their online and social media presence, and develop countless company, brand, product, and service launches. Dean uses every tool available, weaving aspects of every medium to achieve the end goal and accelerate his clients’ business growth.