It’s not a phrase you hear much about yet, but “attitudinal data framing” increasingly will be a strategy that direct marketers discover, and a few years down the road, possibly even rely on. I had the pleasure of hearing a joint presentation on the subject at the recent Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) 2007 DM Days New York Conference & Expo. The topic was explored by Dave Griffith, director of consumer analytics at Madison, Wis.–based CUNA Mutual Group, a leading provider of financial services to credit unions and their members worldwide, and Mark Graham, senior vice president at Chapel Hill, N.C.–based marketing research firm and consultancy Yankelovich Inc. After the talk, I caught up with Griffith to find out more about attitudinal data framing and how he is using it to increase his company’s prospect knowledge.
We’ve heard the expression, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” “Attitudinal data framing is a twist on that. Today in marketing, it’s about what you know about who you know,” states Graham. Fifteen years ago, he says, all marketers talked about was age, income and gender—but these days, the industry must consider prospects as pure consumers and how they make purchasing decisions in such a limited time.
EB: How does attitudinal data framing affect your insurance marketing?
DG: Today, like all good direct marketers, we spend a lot of time mining our data and identifying the characteristics that differentiate buyers from nonbuyers. This would include demographics, lifestyle data, event data, etc. We can continue to find better ways to target more effectively, but this approach has limitations. What we need to understand are the motivations that triggered that purchase. In other words, moving from just knowing who the buyers are to knowing about why and how they are buying. This knowledge will enable us to develop more relevant communications and products and create further differentiation for our program.