Nonprofits also have found themselves vying for a piece of consumers' discretionary spend as the number of charitable contributions has reduced during the economic downturn. Nonprofits have plenty of data available to help them identify which consumers donate to charity, as well as the types of causes a given consumer is most likely to be interested in, such as environmental. We know the "greenest" consumers tend to be charitable givers and have higher average discretionary spend abilities than "non-green" consumers. This insight helps the marketer identify its potential universe, but it is important to further segment that universe to identify which consumers have the financial ability—and willingness—to give to its cause.
In the end, there are three key points to take into consideration for marketers in verticals that use discretionary spending predictors to target their audience.
- Ensure discretionary spend predictors are recalibrated throughout the year to take into account econometric changes that are often regionally based.
- Make sure you know the total dollar amount each household is projected to spend on discretionary products and services in order to best target the appropriate product or service offer.
- Understand what other discretionary spending categories your target consumer might be interested in; these categories are your competition, as other marketers are also fighting for a portion of consumers' discretionary dollars.
Working with a proven data provider can help you best understand consumer discretionary spend capabilities—and ultimately enhance your marketing efforts.
Kevin Akerman is senior director, global product development for Experian Marketing Services, a provider of marketing services and data solutions. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.