Cover Story: In the Right Market
Among the lifestyle traits that emerged as indicators of prospective AIG Travel Guard customers were affinities to airline frequent flyer programs and allegiances to hotel brands and/or car rental agencies.
Sourcing Targeted Lists
To put intelligence gleaned from the cluster analysis into action, AIG Travel Guard takes advantage of the targeted list services offered by Ruf Strategic Solutions. In addition to data appends to housefiles, Ruf can provide lists that include nearly 2,000 lifestyle and brand preference selections for more than 170 million consumers in 110 million U.S. households. This allows marketers to drill into any given geography and get a desired quantity of prospects to mail within their preferred clusters.
“If we’ve got an order for 100,000 records and we can define that as being household clusters H03, H08, H05 or whatever the numbers might be, we can target to an area or fill to a quantity based on those high-performing household-level clusters,” explains Berggren.
“Taking a different strategy, we can define our lists by any of those lifestyles that we might want to target,” he continues. “I could go after those that are frequent flyers or that are affinities to a hotel … cruise line or brand, or those likely to have a passport. While these are propensities, they are also very strong indicators of a behavior.”
The initial cluster analysis identified close to a dozen groups with characteristics that looked like AIG Travel Guard’s current customers. “We began to [do] direct mail in those clusters and, from the tests within those clusters, three rose to the top,” says Mueller. “We started blowing out our drops in those three clusters over the last two years.”
Affinity lists, such as travel and adventure travel publication subscribers and travel clothing and accessory catalog customers, have performed especially well, she adds.