One webinar attendee asked during the Q&A session whether AAA had considered simply appending the data points instead of conducting research, waiting for the results and then assigning the segments. The answer is a flat out "No!" and for good reason.
Outside data is never 100% accurate — and it never will be. It's a risky proposition to assume that the data appended is accurate, assign each household to a segment based on that data, and then make future marketing decisions based on how the segmentation strategy performs.
If the data is inaccurate, households may be assigned to the wrong segment. As a result, they may pull down the overall response and click through rates because they cannot relate to the communications received from the segment to which they've been assigned. But you'll never know this, so you assume the segmentation program simply doesn't work and move on.
Also, part of the upfront engagement strategy was to send a Welcome email that acknowledged the fact that if they participated in the survey, then "based on your answers, we'll send you a personalized email that highlights a AAA Member benefit that makes sense for you."
The first email set member expectations that emails from AAA would be relevant and meaningful to them specifically, based on how they answered the questions. That's certainly a promise that could not have been made by appending outside data and "hoping" you got it right.
Finally, if, as a consumer, I didn't tell AAA I had young toddlers or teenagers, it might make me uncomfortable that AAA was suddenly talking to me about my teen driver or my need for car seats and playpens. I might wonder "How did they know?" and instead of perceiving AAA as clever and insightful, it might be perceived as simply creepy.
A blog that challenges B-to-B marketers to learn, share, question, and focus on getting it right—the first time. Carolyn Goodman is President/Creative Director of Goodman Marketing Partners. An award-winning creative director, writer and in-demand speaker, Carolyn has spent her 30-year career helping both B-to-B and B-to-C clients cut through business challenges in order to deliver strategically sound, creatively brilliant marketing solutions that deliver on program objectives. To keep her mind sharp, Carolyn can be found most evenings in the boxing ring, practicing various combinations. You can find her at the Goodman Marketing website, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter @CarolynGoodman.