Cover Story: The Big Qs of 2011
- How to extract from the "mountains of Web analytic data" Consumers Union has collected, the specific items that can be used to improve predictive models for cross-selling and determining the next-best offers; and
- How to learn more about unidentified site visitors so they can be marketed to with high relevance, yet still respect their right to privacy.
At some level, every marketer currently has this problem: How do you bridge the gap between the people in your database who you know well and can market to efficiently, and everyone else who you really want to be able to market to efficiently?
That's even more difficult when you consider customers change over time. Pat McGrew, data-driven communication segment "evangelist" for Rochester, N.Y.-based Eastman Kodak Co., explains that, "a lot of marketing programs start with last year's plan, and then adjust for available budget. Over the years customers evolve and change, but marketing programs often miss those essential changes. If you haven't evaluated the profiles of your best, worst and growable customers for the revenue they return and cost of keeping them as customers, you may be wasting more of your budget than you realize."
One solution that both McGrew and Experian's Johnston recommend is to purchase outside data to append to your database and complete the picture of who you're trying to reach and where they are in that data. There are many data sources out there with information you can append to the records in your database to develop a more complete record of the people in it.
"Marketers need to turn to external data sources to truly understand their customers, and how external influences, like economic fluctuations, have changed their behavior," says Johnston. "This means including a mix of demographic, behavioral and psychographic data in their segmentation and targeting decision-making processes."