Get It Together Part 4: Data Field Relationships


DIY Kitchen KitThink of your contact data as a huge networking event. Speed dating, if you will. You have brief opportunities to speak with some, and others you’d love to nurture into a lasting and meaningful relationship.

Data fields (“First Name,” “Last Name,” “Organization Name,” etc.) need to be considered in a relationship sort of way. Too often, one department or person controls the CRM (contact relationship management) system and sets everything up from their perspective. An effective CRM system takes a holistic approach and looks at how it can serve the entire organization.

Let’s start with a fictitious example. You are a new retail store that sells DIY small space furniture kits. Your target market is 20-somethings looking to personalize their space. You probably have a database of young adults that have shopped in your store in the past and perhaps some of their friends. You’ll want to also focus on the relational connections, such as their families, their birthdays, significant gift giving holidays… Offer an incentive and you may be surprised how much additional information you can collect.

Connecting the dots, lets say Suzie comes in and buys a tablet/cookbook holder for her kitchen. She also buys a nice wine rack. You offer a 10% off coupon if she signs up for your email offers and gives her birthday. You start a registry program in your store targeting high school graduates moving away to college and college students moving off campus. Suzie signs up and shares the information with her friends and family. Your database will show that, in anticipation of moving into her new place, she is trending toward kitchen items.

So what do you map in your database? Some kits trend greater sales in certain seasons. Identify those items and classify them. You may want to create a multi-picklist field that identifies those peak buying times – birthday, summer season, back-to-school, graduation, etc. Now, do the same in your contact field for when your customer does most of their purchases and any significant dates that apply to them (birthday, etc.). Create a workflow that generates an automatic email offer for items in their “favorites” as suggestions to them and any friends/family you may have captured. Suzie graduates from high school (she shared that in her registry information) so on her graduation day, you offer her registry connections an additional $25 off for purchases over $150.

How will you identify those friends/family? Another CRM relational matching opportunity. Suzie’s registry friends/families shop at the store for a gift. Because Suzie’s registry identifies her as the recipient, a relationship is born. Each contact should have a “lookup” field for other contacts that shows the relationship. Also, there should be a field specifying that relationship – I suggest a pick list or multi-picklist field to normalize the data (friend, family, spouse, etc.). Now you will begin to build a web of information that will give you more potential to generate sales over a longer period of time. It will also create relationships outside of the CRM, as you will become a trusted retailer that always suggests the right product at the right time.

If you need assistance setting up your relational data fields to create a bigger picture in your organization, we can help. CONTACT US for information on our CRM Implementation Program.