Categorise Customers For Ease of Use

Here are two great tips for enhancing your marketing database to make it more workable and accessible for you.

If you have information in a simple Excel spreadsheet, don’t have a different column for every variable. You’ll end up with an unworkable spreadsheet with too many columns. Instead, categorise.

The wrong way
You set up a column for customers, a column for prospects, a column for old clients and a column for suppliers.

The right way
One column is allocated and called Customer Type for example. All the different variables are then used within that one column such as customer, old customer, prospect, supplier. When you need to see or communicate with a specific type – for example you want to see all the prospects listed, you simply sort the entire list by Customer Type and all the suppliers will be listed one after another.

If you keep your information in Outlook or Lotus Notes Contacts, one of the least-known functions is Categories – a keyword or phrase that you can assign to a contact. Better yet, you can assign multiple categories to each contact.

Categories are utterly brilliant in many ways. Why? Because you can finely target specific customers. By creating industry, occupation, interest, purchase, service categories, for example, all you need to do is sort by category.

How do I create a category?
Open any Outlook contact. In the bottom centre you’ll see the rectangular Categories box. Click to open. Ignore the pre-programmed Microsoft ones. Click the Master Category List button, then type in your own. To view your contacts grouped by categories, go to View,
Current View, then Categories. In Lotus Notes, you’ll find it in the contacts section.

Article by International Speaker and bestselling author Debbie Mayo-Smith.