On being the voice in the wilderness with others saying real marketing is about attending to customers
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Making your customer database come alive

Many companies keep a customer database, but few of them keep that database alive. Names are dropped in never to be updated. Databases which are driven by transactions are a little better, but transaction data can be very misleading when trying to commmunicate with a person.

In order to stay close to your customers, you must build a database based on real human-to-human interactions. Salespeople do this instinctively, but we may have to do a lot of planning to make sure that the company's main database reflects the customer's interaction with all the people in the company. The main challenge is not technology, but training.

FutureLab Marketing & Strategy Innovation Blog: Ernan Roman on Voice of Customer Marketing, 2010-Sep-21, by Denise Lee Yohn

...there’s no database that is particularly accurate, whether it’s a customer database or a transactional database. So therefore we need a higher level of intelligence and accuracy so we can target and communicate effectively.  That can only come from primary, first-person-generated information. So step two is to engage people to give information so we can profile a tremendous amount of information about their expectations and preferences about their communication so that from a data-capture point of view we have the machine, the data to drive the use of this information.