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MARKETING DATABASES – THE SHORTEST WAY TO CLIENT’S HEART Popa Adela Laura Universitatea din Oradea, Facultatea de ùtiinĠe Economice, Catedra de Management úi Marketing, Str. UniversităĠii, Nr. 1, telefon 0259.408796, email: Sasu Dinu Vlad Universitatea din Oradea, Facultatea de ùtiinĠe Economice, Catedra de Management úi Marketing, Str. UniversităĠii, Nr. 1, telefon 0259.408796, email: The aim of this paper is to present the potential which could be offered by managing databases in direct marketing through gathering the information that could offer the shortest and efficient way to the clients needs. The paper includes the necessary steps to make this activity a real success. Keywords: databases, marketing direct, customer database, information, databases update The direct communication with the customer – The essence of a successful direct marketing activity The process of defining and establishing direct communication objectives is a very important element of communication with the customer. Without clearly specified objectives, the target of direct marketing communication program can easily fail. Also, the objectives serve as reminders of what the economic organization is attempting to do with its communications to various customers. The objectives of the communication with the customer are derived from promotion marketing objectives, which tend to be general because they relate to entire marketing plan and they also can be measurable. Communication goals are depending on the stage in the buying process that is addressing to. According to Kenneth E. Clow and Donald Baack, the major direct communication objectives address to both compartmental and psychological issues and regard the following issues: Build customer traffic Change customer beliefs of attitudes Develop brand awareness Encourage repeat purchases Enhance firm image Enhance purchase actions Increase category demand Increase market share Increase sales Reinforce purchase decisions260 Database marketing objectives The objective and role of the database in the direct marketing and communication determine the structure and the content of the database. The typical questions posed concerning data collection include: What kinds of data are currently available? When and how often will information be collected? 260 Clow, Kenneth E., Baack, Donald – Integrated Advertising, Promotion and Marketing Communications, Prentince Hall, New Jersey, 2007, page 101 1495 When and how often will information be updated? What additional data are needed? Why certain data are needed and not other types? How will the data be used and who will use it? Where will the data be located? Answers to these questions allow the marketing and information system departments to design the specific database. It is important to make sure the information helps the company maintain a successful communication program. The objective related below may be changed or be modified as time passes depending the company’s actualized needs but the essential information remains relatively consistent. Regarding these, the objectives for direct marketing database communication with customer can include the following issues: Provide useful information about company’s customers Create information about why customers purchase the products they do Share information about customers as companies prepare advertisements and promotional materials Reveal contact points to be used in direct marketing programs Generate information about members of various buying centers in business to business operations Track changes in purchasing behaviors criteria used by customers261 The steps to a successful direct marketing communication In order to create a complete communications and promotion program, 8 steps are necessary according to Philip Kotler262: The first step is to identify the market target. The company must identify the target market from the beginning if it wants to know who it is addressing to. The target can be formed by: potential customers for the company’s products, current users of company’s products, decision factors and influence factors. The second step consists in determining the communication objectives. Once the market target is identified, and also its characteristics, the company that releases the message must decide what kind of answer wants to get. It follows the creation of the message. Knowing what kind of answer the company wants to get, the message must be created in that manner to achieve that objective. Choosing communication channels is the next appropriate step. The company must choose efficient communication chanels to distribute its message. Many times these channels must be different and more then one. Next step is – setting the promotion budget. To set the promotion budget is one of the must difficult marketing decisions which companies are confronting with. Mostly there are 4 major ways to established the promotion budget: the method based on the company’s possibilities, sales percentage method, the method based on competitive priorities, objective and task method of budgeting It follows the step of establishing the promotional mix – the elements that compose the promotional mix are: advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, public relations, and direct marketing. Determining the results of the promotional activities. After the implementation of the promotional plan, the company must evaluate the impact produced on the market target. The final step is the organization and the coordination of marketing communications. To reach the communicating objectives, the companies must use more then one communication tools referring the promotional mix. 261 Clow, Kenneth E., Baack, Donald – Integrated Advertising, Promotion and Marketing Communications, Prentince Hall, New Jersey, 2007, page 350 262 Kotler, Philip – Principiile marketingului, Ed. Teora, Bucuresti 2000, pag. 1048 1496 Customer Database – the tool which can bring the real advantage in knowing customers’ needs The first thing that must be presented in this section is the database definition. A database is a collection of data/information that is organized so that it can be easily accessed, managed, and updated in order to select desired pieces of data depending on combined selection criteria. Referring to marketing, a definition of marketing database according to TechTarget ( is “Database marketing is a systematic approach to the gathering, consolidation, and processing of consumer data (both for customers and potential customers) that is maintained in a company's databases. Although databases have been used for customer data in traditional marketing for a long time, the database marketing approach is differentiated by the fact that much more consumer data is maintained, and that the data is processed and used in new and more sophisticated ways. Among other things, marketers use the data to learn more about customers, select target markets for specific campaigns (through customer segmentation), compare customers' value to the company, and provide more specialized offerings for customers.263” (TechTarget provides enterprise IT professionals with the information they need to perform their jobs - from developing strategy, to making cost-effective IT purchase decisions and managing their organizations' IT projects - with its network of technology-specific Web sites, events and magazines.) So, a customer database is a structured collection of records including information about customers or potential customers. A good customer database is the key for developing efficient customer relationships. But what does it mean “a good customer database”? What kind of information must it contain? Is it enough to know information like: name, address, age, marital status, etc.? The idea of using databases is to manage customer relationships to increase both sales and also the customer satisfaction. In order to get customers satisfaction, next to information like: demographics: address, telephone, age, birthday, marital status, occupation, etc., information like: psychographics: activities, interests, opinions, buying patterns, etc. – are also needed. An appropriate database can offer important information about the customers needs, wants and buying patterns, and also information such as the most and the least profitable customers. This process containing methodologies, software, and usually Internet capabilities that help a company to manage the relationships with its customers in an organized way, is called Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and it plays an important role in many small business' sales and marketing strategies. The role of the Customer Relationship Management – CRM – consists in helping companies to understand, so that to anticipate, the needs of current and potential customers. One of the most important information the CRM system may offer is to determine the most profitable customers and also, what common characteristics do they share. But, first of all, in order to offer appropriate and essential information about the customers, a CRM is based on an effective marketing database. Customer database development The first step in building a customer database, management must first determine the company’s primary objectives. Some of these objectives may be: future promotional activities; introducing a new product and service; to sell different products/services; distributing information about an event; thanking them; creating customer loyalty programs; determine the most profitable customers; and many others. 263,,sid11_gci939072,00.html 1497 The second step is to determine what kind of data a company needs about its customers, in order to achieve the objectives. In order to developing a good marketing database, the management must know that it also must include details of prospective, as well as existing customers. Not only existing clients must be targeted, but also the potential clients. This is one important principal a customer database must refer. Source Data for Customer Databases The information kept in a customer database comes from different data sources. These sources can be internal or external. The internal data are the data that refers to the existing customers and comes from the inside of the company. The internal data may refer to: client files, orders recordings, information selected from customer reclamations, data referring to customers’ satisfaction, reactions to promotions actions, market research, questionnaires, etc. The external data is the data which comes from outside, for instance by renting a list of names and addresses or by changing data with another company. Each marketing department must determine the particular source data which is needed in order to get all necessary information for their customer database. This depends on specific products or services, the domain of activity or even the competitive situation of the company. Customer Database Accuracy Database accuracy is essential for an effective Customer Relationship Management system. First of all, the quality of data and the quality of the customer database maintenance are very important. They must be updated frequently because some data are changing often. Problems may appear when data from different sources are mixed, for instance data from internal sources with data from external studies. Wrong data as: duplicates, wrong addresses, personalization errors, etc., may drive not only to losses in the company’s budget, but also can affect the marketing strategy by giving wrong information. Customer Database Using The using of customer databases in marketing is a very powerful and competitive weapon for companies because it helps them to stay close to the customers, to understand their needs, to treat them well after the sale, and this way to develop a fidelity program. Using the information kept in the customer databases, advertising campaigns’ messages may be tailored to specific segments of the market or even to the individual customer. In conclusion, there are many ways a customer database can help companies to improve their activity by: profiling existing customers (looking at customers to identify common characteristics between them), keeping in touch with the customers, customer segmentation (people with similar attributes tend to have similar tendencies in purchasing patterns), customer scoring, customer retention (to identify groups that are likely to leave (potentially to rival providers)), cross-selling (in order to sell other products to existing customers), up-selling (in order to sell more expensive products or services to existing users of the same type items). Bibliografy: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Bateman, T., & Snell, S. (2007). Management: Leading & Collaborating in a Competitive World. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc Kotler, Philip – Principiile marketingului, Ed. Teora, Bucuresti 2000 Stone, M., Bond, A., Blake, E. – The definitive guide to direct and interactive marketing, Pearson Education Limited 2003 Clow, Kenneth E., Baack, Donald – Integrated Advertising, Promotion and Marketing Communications, Prentince Hall, New Jersey, 2007 1498 equilibrium value of MeCpG steps (,+14 deg.) [31,44]. In comparison, methylation has a significantly lower stability cost when happening at major groove positions, such as 211 and 21 base pair from dyad (mutations 9 and 12), where the roll of the nucleosome bound conformation (+10 deg.) is more compatible with the equilibrium geometry of MeCpG steps. The nucleosome destabilizing effect of cytosine methylation increases with the number of methylated cytosines, following the same position dependence as the single methylations. The multiple-methylation case reveals that each major groove meth- PLOS Computational Biology | 3 November 2013 | Volume 9 | Issue 11 | e1003354 DNA Methylation and Nucleosome Positioning ylation destabilizes the nucleosome by around 1 kJ/mol (close to the average estimate of 2 kJ/mol obtained for from individual methylation studies), while each minor groove methylation destabilizes it by up to 5 kJ/mol (average free energy as single mutation is around 6 kJ/mol). This energetic position-dependence is the reverse of what was observed in a recent FRET/SAXS study [30]. The differences can be attributed to the use of different ionic conditions and different sequences: a modified Widom-601 sequence of 157 bp, which already contains multiple CpG steps in mixed orientations, and which could assume different positioning due to the introduction of new CpG steps and by effect of the methylation. The analysis of our trajectories reveals a larger root mean square deviation (RMSD) and fluctuation (RMSF; see Figures S2– S3 in Text S1) for the methylated nucleosomes, but failed to detect any systematic change in DNA geometry or in intermolecular DNA-histone energy related to methylation (Fig. S1B, S1C, S4–S6 in Text S1). The hydrophobic effect should favor orientation of the methyl group out from the solvent but this effect alone is not likely to justify the positional dependent stability changes in Figure 2, as the differential solvation of the methyl groups in the bound and unbound states is only in the order of a fraction of a water molecule (Figure S5 in Text S1). We find however, a reasonable correlation between methylation-induced changes in hydrogen bond and stacking interactions of the bases and the change in nucleosome stability (see Figure S6 in Text S1). This finding suggests that methylation-induced nucleosome destabilization is related to the poorer ability of methylated DNA to fit into the required conformation for DNA in a nucleosome. Changes in the elastic deformation energy between methylated and un-methylated DNA correlate with nucleosomal differential binding free energies To further analyze the idea that methylation-induced nucleosome destabilization is connected to a worse fit of methylated DNA into the required nucleosome-bound conformation, we computed the elastic energy of the nucleosomal DNA using a harmonic deformation method [36,37,44]. This method provides a rough estimate of the energy required to deform a DNA fiber to adopt the super helical conformation in the nucleosome (full details in Suppl. Information Text S1). As shown in Figure 2, there is an evident correlation between the increase that methylation produces in the elastic deformation energy (DDE def.) and the free energy variation (DDG bind.) computed from MD/TI calculations. Clearly, methylation increases the stiffness of the CpG step [31], raising the energy cost required to wrap DNA around the histone octamers. This extra energy cost will be smaller in regions of high positive roll (naked DNA MeCpG steps have a higher roll than CpG steps [31]) than in regions of high negative roll. Thus, simple elastic considerations explain why methylation is better tolerated when the DNA faces the histones through the major groove (where positive roll is required) that when it faces histones through the minor groove (where negative roll is required). Nucleosome methylation can give rise to nucleosome repositioning We have established that methylation affects the wrapping of DNA in nucleosomes, but how does this translate into chromatin structure? As noted above, accumulation of minor groove methylations strongly destabilizes the nucleosome, and could trigger nucleosome unfolding, or notable changes in positioning or phasing of DNA around the histone core. While accumulation of methylations might be well tolerated if placed in favorable positions, accumulation in unfavorable positions would destabilize the nucleosome, which might trigger changes in chromatin structure. Chromatin could in fact react in two different ways in response to significant levels of methylation in unfavorable positions: i) the DNA could either detach from the histone core, leading to nucleosome eviction or nucleosome repositioning, or ii) the DNA could rotate around the histone core, changing its phase to place MeCpG steps in favorable positions. Both effects are anticipated to alter DNA accessibility and impact gene expression regulation. The sub-microsecond time scale of our MD trajectories of methylated DNAs bound to nucleosomes is not large enough to capture these effects, but clear trends are visible in cases of multiple mutations occurring in unfavorable positions, where unmethylated and methylated DNA sequences are out of phase by around 28 degrees (Figure S7 in Text S1). Due to this repositioning, large or small, DNA could move and the nucleosome structure could assume a more compact and distorted conformation, as detected by Lee and Lee [29], or a slightly open conformation as found in Jimenez-Useche et al. [30]. Using the harmonic deformation method, we additionally predicted the change in stability induced by cytosine methylation for millions of different nucleosomal DNA sequences. Consistently with our calculations, we used two extreme scenarios to prepare our DNA sequences (see Fig. 3): i) all positions where the minor grooves contact the histone core are occupied by CpG steps, and ii) all positions where the major grooves contact the histone core are occupied by CpG steps. We then computed the elastic energy required to wrap the DNA around the histone proteins in unmethylated and methylated states, and, as expected, observed that methylation disfavors DNA wrapping (Figure 3A). We have rescaled the elastic energy differences with a factor of 0.23 to match the DDG prediction in figure 2B. In agreement with the rest of our results, our analysis confirms that the effect of methylation is position-dependent. In fact, the overall difference between the two extreme methylation scenarios (all-in-minor vs all-in-major) is larger than 60 kJ/mol, the average difference being around 15 kJ/ mol. We have also computed the elastic energy differences for a million sequences with CpG/MeCpG steps positioned at all possible intermediate locations with respect to the position (figure 3B). The large differences between the extreme cases can induce rotations of DNA around the histone core, shifting its phase to allow the placement of the methylated CpG steps facing the histones through the major groove. It is illustrative to compare the magnitude of CpG methylation penalty with sequence dependent differences. Since there are roughly 1.5e88 possible 147 base pairs long sequence combinations (i.e., (4n+4(n/2))/2, n = 147), it is unfeasible to calculate all the possible sequence effects. However, using our elastic model we can provide a range of values based on a reasonably large number of samples. If we consider all possible nucleosomal sequences in the yeast genome (around 12 Mbp), the energy difference between the best and the worst sequence that could form a nucleosome is 0.7 kj/mol per base (a minimum of 1 kJ/mol and maximum of around 1.7 kJ/mol per base, the first best and the last worst sequences are displayed in Table S3 in Text S1). We repeated the same calculation for one million random sequences and we obtained equivalent results. Placing one CpG step every helical turn gives an average energetic difference between minor groove and major groove methylation of 15 kJ/ mol, which translates into ,0.5 kJ/mol per methyl group, 2 kJ/ mol per base for the largest effects. Considering that not all nucleosome base pair steps are likely to be CpG steps, we can conclude that the balance between the destabilization due to CpG methylation and sequence repositioning will depend on the PLOS Computational Biology | 4 November 2013 | Volume 9 | Issue 11 | e1003354 DNA Methylation and Nucleosome Positioning Figure 3. Methylated and non-methylated DNA elastic deformation energies. (A) Distribution of deformation energies for 147 bplong random DNA sequences with CpG steps positioned every 10 base steps (one helical turn) in minor (red and dark red) and major (light and dark blue) grooves respectively. The energy values were rescaled by the slope of a best-fit straight line of figure 2, which is 0.23, to in the aquatic environment for long-term survival and for transmission to arthropod and mammalian hosts. References 1. Ray K, Marteyn B, Sansonetti PJ, Tang CM. Life on the inside: the intracellular lifestyle of cytosolic bacteria. 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