Editor’s Notes: All Data is not Equal
You can imagine the emotions such a message stirred up. This is the kind of data abuse about which consumers have every right to get outraged. Data based on future assumptions cannot be taken as fact; the outcome has to be verified. Equally, personalized messages cannot be developed unless a marketer knows full well what its database looks like and whether its information is reliable. As data wizard Tim Prunk wryly noted at this year’s FastForward seminar, “There are two kinds of data files: the one my client tells me it has and the one it sends me.”
For the direct marketing industry to thrive, companies cannot afford to be the ostrich with its head in the sand that Prunk described. And the next evolution of direct mail will turn out to be a step back if the result is the wrong offer to the wrong person at the wrong time because of the wrong data.