List Vision: Make Your Data Work Harder
To squeeze every last drop of response and profitability from a campaign, marketers’ data honchos are layering their database marketing strategies. And not all of these tactics are costly or require a NASA engineer to employ.
At last week’s List Vision conference, JoAnne Monfradi Dunn, president of Alliant Cooperative Data Solutions, moderated a panel session titled, “Trick Out Your Data and Kick Up Your Revenue,” that delved into the successful data gymnastics being performed at four top direct marketing operations. Panelists included: Marijke Bekaert, HCI Direct; Janette Barrett, International Masters Publishers; Don Austin, May Development Services; and Johanna Rivard, Ziff Davis Web Buyer’s Guide.
Here’s what each firm is doing with its data to achieve strong in-the-mail performance:
HCI Direct: This hosiery continuity club wanted to mail deeper into its pool of internal lists. To identify which names would be the more profitable future customers, HCI Direct needed more insight than the data on each record currently provided. A data overlay could produce such insight, but at additional cost. Marijke Bekaert chose to append third-party data to a cross-section of names that had been promoted to by HCI in January 2004, so that enough history on shipments, pay-up, etc., would be available to determine value to the firm. In addition, analysis was conducted for each of HCI’s modeling segments, including those that had performed poorly and those that had performed well. What Bekaert found was that the most important variable in predicting performance is household age, but 18 percent of HCI’s internal files did not contain this data. By modeling the individual segments defined by the number of hosiery shipments taken (called turns), Bekaert was able to determine that a data append on the segment with one turn taken produced a top score group that was 7 percent more profitable than without this insight. And the bottom score group with data overlaid was three times less profitable than what HCI could predict without the overlay. The same pattern followed for the two-turn segment, but the three-turn segment with the append looked much like the segment without. By testing the overlay before committing to a full append, HCI Direct was able to determine how much value the enhancement would bring to the mail program on not only the first contact, but on subsequent shipments.