The word "monetize" is one of the least romantic words in the English language. But in terms of marketing, it's one of the most important words. In short, a database that isn't monetized is as useful as a limp leg. The book "Marketing: The Basics" notes that even though database monetization is so important, some just don't find success, in spite of a wealth of consumer information. The reason, evidently, is that the marketer analyzing the data didn't understand another vital aspect -- the nuances of not just the consumers, but also the market as a whole.

Step 1.

Identify your database. Understand who your consumers are. Analyze their data and then ask yourself, "What kinds of people are they? What do they want?" The book "Television Disrupted: The Transition From Network to Networked TV" highlights a distinction between consumers watching network TV, such as NBC's programming, and networked TV, such as the Home Shopping Network (HSN).

Step 2.

Identify your market. You know who your customers are, but now determine how, when and why they are. Consumers watching the HSN are habitually offered freebies and discounted pricing because the network can afford it. Why? Because once the network has a consumer's information from the initial purchase, it works on building a long-term relationship. By offering good deals, the network expects longer-lasting returns -- that is, more consumer purchases.

Step 3.

Reach out. Choose a method that will best connect your advertisement with those in your database. Direct mail marketing via snail mail is one option. Create an attractive flyer that incorporates the who, why, how and when factors. Since you already have their information, you're in better position to offer discounted or perhaps free goods or services with hopes of an eventual return.

Step 4.

Use special tools. Online marketing via social networks gives you a chance to enhance your database by gleaning more than just consumer email addresses. Companies such as DidgeBridge and FanBridge utilize special software that tracks consumers who are already in the database by analyzing what they click on in marketing emails sent to them.

Step 5.

Be simple. Focus on selling a quality, unique, innovative product, and the marketing and revenue will come that much smoother. FanBridge marketers interviewed Mitch Weiss, founder of MW Entertainment Group, who said despite the tricks and gadgets of the marketing trade, his experience in the music business has shown that the best results still come from offering a quality product.


Don't overdo it. Don't scare consumers away. Musician Robb Nansel, also interviewed by FanBridge marketers, emphasized the importance of initially giving only what you promised -- nothing more. In the beginning, don't offer to sell a product when you only promised to give information.