List Buying Guide: List Challenges and Solutions in 2004
Mulligan agrees that this issue needs to be addressed by list owners and their list managers.
“We have to get more specifics about the multichannel customer onto the datacard,” she says, so marketers can better understand what types of people are on the list and how to effectively reach them.
While list source always will be important, says Kropp, marketers will achieve better results if they focus on list characteristics that point to a strong affinity with their product or service and that help them make offers that will be relevant to prospects.
For example, identifying lifestyle changes like moving to a new house or becoming first-time parents have proven to be much stronger predictors of response than customers’ inferred channel preferences, she explains.
Barlow concurs, advising marketers to evaluate lists with a keen eye for return on investment. Good questions to answer include:
• How much do these customers spend annually?
• How frequently do they buy?
• Do they buy for others in their household?
• Do they place gift orders?
When you can start to shape buying patterns for list segments, you can more accurately target prospects who will perform like your best customers, says Barlow.
While multichannel marketing might be shaking up list research efforts, its existence also presents marketers with the opportunity to leverage multiple channels. A number of companies offer postal and e-mail addresses for their customers, allowing marketers to explore the effects of integrated media campaigns.
Schwartz notes, however, that quality e-mail lists still are pretty expensive, putting e-mail campaign costs in the same ballpark as direct mail costs.
Challenge No. 3: Lower list rental revenue
Solution: File enhancements; participating in private prospecting databases
According to Kropp, marketers are faced with a double-edged sword: While they want to generate revenue on list rentals, they also understand other firms want to get the lowest CPMs possible.