General Electric Service Management Inc. built a customer relationship management program and marketing database that contains information on 50 million consumers, 72 million appliances and supports up to 80 marketing programs per week. But it was a fundamental approach and sticking to the basics that helped GE construct a site that works in a direct marketing environment where only 16 percent of all CRM projects are rated a complete success. "Database design matters and no tool can overcome a poorly designed database," Steve Sheltz, database manager for GE Service Management told attendees Tuesday, July 31, during his session – Putting the Database Back into Database Marketing – at the National Center for Database Marketing Summer 2001 Conference in Chicago. "It takes more than loading lots of data into Oracle to make a marketing database."

To build a successful program, Sheltz says database administrators and marketing directors should:

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