Marketing with Relational Databases

by Wendy O

Databases used to be stored on mainframes; which, by today’s standards is extremely unacceptable. Mainly due to the slow and difficult processes of editing a flat file. According to Arthur Hughes, it is extremely important that not only the IT department understand the structure of a relational database, but that Marketing departments should as well. This will allow the marketers to understand the proper collection and use of customer data, and it will ensure that what the IT department is developing will meet the needs of the business. In this article, the values of fields, tables, and records are defined, in addition to the importance of keys and the relationships between each table.


This article is related to chapter one because it explains the importance of Relational Databases versus the archaic flat file mainframes. It defines the advantages of a relational database to marketers and their business rules. Arthur Hughes, the editor, does a great job at defining how to use relational databases for marketing purposes.

I agree with the author in regards to marketers educating themselves in understanding the structure of a relational database. I’ve worked on several projects, and in most cases, the business does not always understand the complexity of a database and how relations work between tables. I don’t believe that it is the marketer’s responsibility to completely understand the functionality; however, they should understand how their records are stored. This is extremely helpful when gathering requirements, especially for reporting purposes, and for any future updates to their systems.


Hughes, A. M.. (2011, October 01). How a relational database helps marketers. Retrieved from Http://www. Dbmarketing. Com/articles/art223. Htm.

2 thoughts on “Marketing with Relational Databases”

  1. It’s a little difficult to see how two completely different departments can collaborate to achieve the same results. Marketing is imaginative and directionless and databases are structured and ordered. Personally, I think that the two should communicate better, but stay exclusive. The influence of one should not alter the main purpose of the other. In other words, marketing for consumer outreach and product advertising, and database for information storage and security.

  2. I believe that marketers benefit a great deal through learning how their companies’ relational databases work. These databases can help the marketers refine their market, see what works and what doesn’t. These databases can truly provide a lot of information that normally cannot be acquired, so it can give the best marketers a cutting edge over those who fail to use every advantage they can get.

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