List Buying Guide: List Challenges and Solutions in 2004
In other words, companies need to step outside their comfort zones and try some new approaches.
One option that seems to be working for a variety of direct marketers is compiled files. In fact, Joann Kropp, president of Walter Karl Inc., reports that she’s seeing compiled files pulling better response rates in side-by-side testing against response lists.
Where compiled files used to be shunned in favor of more highly performing response lists, today’s versions have been souped up for better results. Kropp notes that these enhanced databases offer marketers volume, selectivity—some even overlay transactional data to single out direct-response buyers—and competitive pricing.
She adds that brokers also have invested considerable effort to learn how to make compiled files work for their clients.
Compiled files aren’t the only lists under construction. Marketers who promote a variety of products with similar customer bases are creating giant masterfiles and enhancing them to help list rental prospects find the exact segments of names they need.
Marketers are looking to leverage the customer insights they’ve gained in the past few years while heavily mailing their housefiles, says Tim Barlow, vice president, list services group at Venture Direct Worldwide. This is true of both B-to-C and B-to-B sectors, he adds.
This goal is driving marketers to look beyond multibuyers to find prospects who fit the customer profile but maybe aren’t getting as many offers as the typical, top-tier buyer segments.
Challenge No. 2: Changing list composition due to multichannel shopping
Solution: In-depth datacards and the ability to think past channel/source
A big change that is forcing direct marketers to reevaluate lists that traditionally have performed best for their offers is the rise of the multichannel customer.
The market is challenged by the reduction in pure mail-order names, says David Schwartz, president of 21st Century Marketing. Marketers’ customer databases are being augmented by Internet-sourced names, he explains, and it’s often hard to tell how much of the file might respond better to e-mail than direct mail.