Unlocking Insights: A Senior Database Marketing Analyst Shares Expert Answers to Your Burning Questions

To a marketer, sometimes what a database marketing analyst does day to day seems like wizardry. So I decided to “ask the analyst” to help other marketers understand their role in identifying insights in a dataset to help us target effectively for our clients.  

Can you give me an overview of your role as a database marketing analyst?

My role has three main parts:

  1. Being the first analyst to look at potential new client data in order to support sales efforts by providing a quick snapshot of the client’s business
  2. Using that snapshot to provide a geographic framework for developing the market segmentation system we call Audiences, which are used in further analysis, modeling, list selection, creative/message/offer development, and response reporting
  3. Exploring whatever attributes are available in our consumer database that look as though they would add dimensions for sales to use when communicating with the client and passing the account to ongoing account management teams

How do you gather and manage data for marketing purposes?

The more data a client shares with us, the more we can help them focus their marketing communications to efficiently increase sales. Depending on the type of business, the most common valuable pieces of customer/sales information are:

Purchase Event Date

  • If there are sales process events for which additional dates are captured, all of the dates can be used to assess both the conversion rate at each step and the amount of time between each step.
  • Having the dates for first contact and any ensuing sale allows us to identify seasonal patterns, which can have a strong influence when choosing the timing of marketing communications.
  • Sometimes, in addition to seasonal patterns, there are day-of-the-week patterns to consider.

Store/purchase location

  • If sales happen at specific locations and the items are for home use, distance to the store is often a factor.
  • It’s helpful when assigned trade areas bring marketing to bear only where it is impactful. If a client does not have them, we can help develop them based on the sales data.


  • Often businesses are selling more than one thing. When they come to us, they provide one data set with all of their sales. We look to see whether different products are or are not appealing to different market segments.
  • If different products sell to different market segments, much of the subsequent analysis and marketing communications work is better managed product by product or through product groups that have similar customer bases.

Lead Source

  • Some businesses capture information about how a customer came to them in the first place. Having this information enables us to look at the end-to-end conversion rates of the different lead sources, determine how effectively they are drawing the attention of likely customers, and in the end prepare a marketing mix analysis.
  • Having an attributed lead source also makes it possible to assess the cross-fertilization achieved by our known contact methods and the client’s lead attribution system.

Sale Value

  • Knowing the gross sale value of products sold is the start of assessing:
    • Which customers and products are most important to a client’s current business
    • The return on investment from marketing communications
  • Clients often manage marketing budgets with an eye to achieving certain cost-of-marketing ratios. When we know the value of sales, we can provide return on investment reporting as part of the response analysis.

What is your #1 top data analysis technique to extract insights from the database?

I produce a package of reports commonly referred to as a business or customer profile. This package pulls together everything we can know about a business, its customers and its markets. With this package, sales and account management have a sense of the magnitude of a situation, the opportunities and challenges, and a sense of how we can best help the client business achieve its goals.

How do you ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data you work with?

We build in checks along the way as we are working to confirm that the continuity of information indicates successful links and summations of the data. At the core of accuracy for what we do is the basic process of address standardization. This process allows us to create a field that makes it possible to link data from many sources and time periods together.

Contributing Author:
Clinton Kennedy
Senior Database Marketing Analyst

See Clinton’s other blog articles:
Who is the best target?
What does a marketer need to know?
Who should you and who shouldn’t you market to?
Does time or money play the biggest role in purchase decisions?
Everything in marketing requires negotiation – What can you do about it?
What is the ultimate marketing message for a consumer product?

Jenny Lassi • April 16, 2024

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