What Challenges to Data Sourcing Are Compilers, and Thus Direct Marketers, Facing?
A number of legislative measures reduced the amount of data to which compilers and marketers have access. The Can Spam Act knocked down e-mail universes, because mailers only wanted to rent names that were
verified opt-in. But this left better e-mail sources for rental, because sourcing got stronger.
With the Shelby Act, drivers license data was lost, but more importantly, you lost [an easy way to derive] affluence based on car model and make. With HIPAA, the only access is to self-reported data, so direct-to-consumer marketing is extremely difficult. Imagine someone notes what health issues she has on a survey, but doesn’t check off the box to OK permission for contact. Then the survey does no good.
Every time you lose a data source, though, you don’t just lose the name for marketing purposes, but you also lose the ability to validate and qualify data. Modeling and customer surveys are the leading ways to replace data that used to be compiled [from more accessible sources]. But you really have to bump up [the amount of] surveying [done] to get this self-reported data.
In the end, multiple verification of data leads to better quality universes, so there’s a positive side to losing easy access to data. But on a fiscal level, this is a painful process in compiling information.
As [the industry] educates consumers about how data is collected and used, then the data sources will come back as consumers make more informed decisions [about what data they will share]. From my perspective, cutting off the ability of people to choose whether or not they will receive marketing is worse than losing a data source.—Stefanie Pont, managing partner, Pont Media Direct
One of the challenges is that there’s no more [Donnelley Marketing] Shareforce. [Compilers and marketers] used this survey data as a second source of data verification as well as for data overlays.