What Do They Buy?
Cooperative databases take this concept one step further. These databases contain names, addresses and transactional history from potentially hundreds of companies participating in the co-op. Cooperative databases can provide comprehensive purchase history about a company's prospects. Rather than just knowing what a customer bought from you, a co-op gives insight into every purchase a business contact makes from the cooperative's members.
While most customer databases show an average of almost two transactions per individual, some cooperative databases contain an average of 16 transactions per individual.
Making the Data Work
How do you maximize this additional data? Modeling becomes a key part of the process; you need to quickly and accurately sift through high-volume data sets with complex interactions. Modeling gives you a way to use what you
learn from your client's purchasing behavior to leverage your existing housefile and prospect lists.
A recent analysis of a sampling of B-to-B mailers analyzed different model types and data sources to identify which combinations of data and modeling worked best. Results showed that statistical models created from transactional data consistently outperformed—by 40 percent to 50 percent—straight list selects that were based on firmographic variables of SIC and employee size.
Another advantage of using a transactional database for prospecting is that it can help to identify direct marketing responders. There is no value in identifying a large purchaser in your category and mailing that prospect if the person only responds to direct sales calls. A transactional database allows marketers to identify purchasers who are proven responders to direct marketing, thereby optimizing the effectiveness of their marketing spend.
In addition to using transactional data to help find new customers, modeling your customer database using transactional data also adds valuable information to existing customer information. It can give you a more complete picture of a buyer's purchase behavior across multiple businesses, categories and channels.