It’s All About the Offer: Marketing on the Left Side of the Brain
November 1, 2004

Using data, you can focus solidly on the customer -- not the product -- to make more effective offers. Back in the 20th century, sales and marketing geniuses were American business heroes—they built great sales forces that built great companies, and created great ads that built great brands. But during the past 25 years, technology changed the rules. Now and forevermore, marketing geniuses will be guided not by intuition but by predictive analytics. In the future, marketing geniuses increasingly will use an understanding of customer behavior to offer the right product, at the right price, at the optimum time. Forrester Research analyst Eric Schmitt

E-commerce Link: Ensemble Selling Online
November 1, 2004

A time-tested merchandising technique gets new vitality through data-driven personalization methods. A longtime goal of online merchants has been to create a pleasant, personalized shopping experience that encourages purchasing and repeat visits. Another goal of direct marketers is to increase average order sizes online. Ensemble selling—otherwise known as selling by merchandise collections—accomplishes both goals, and has seen widespread use because of its ability to get beyond the structured, linear character of the Web and speak to the emotional issues that drive the shopping behavior of targeted customers. Ensemble selling is so widely used and successful that it is becoming a standard

The Data Challenge
October 1, 2004

How custom segmentation helps The San Diego Union-Tribune find new subscribers Like at all major newspapers, it has become harder and more costly for The San Diego Union-Tribune—the second-largest newspaper in Southern California—to find new subscribers. To develop marketing and sales plans to approach consumers differently based on their lifestyle and circulation habits, the marketing and circulation team at the Union-Tribune determined it needed to develop a custom segmentation system. Two recent business changes helped propel the marketing and circulation team’s challenges. The first change was internal: The Union-Tribune recently started to promote four-day and Sunday-only subscriptions; previously only seven-day subscriptions had been pitched

Think Beyond Demographics
October 1, 2004

Create more targeted campaigns with behavioral data collected via the e-mail process There is tremendous value to be gained from understanding who your customers are and how they behave. Once you identify your customers’ interests, you have the opportunity to respond with highly targeted and effective advertising. Does the data your company gathers provide you with actionable information to improve campaign performance? Are you collecting, storing and analyzing the metrics that can help your organization create meaningful custom segments to better target your campaigns? If you’re not pursuing this course of action, why not? In an age when people’s e-mail inboxes increasingly are bombarded

Data Critical
October 1, 2004

A quality database is the key to building one-to-one business relationships Those who sell into business-to-business (B-to-B) markets see great promise in one-to-one marketing, a systematic approach to forming relationships with worthwhile prospects that builds on previous communications and delivers them to the sales team when they are primed for contact. However, many who have strived to make one-to-one marketing work in their B-to-B campaigns have been met with disappointment: too few leads, very high cost per lead and/or sales force resistance to lead follow-up. The marketing database is the most critical factor in determining the success of a one-to-one marketing effort, providing the

Modeling Brings New Life to TV Guide
October 1, 2004

Problem: Declining circulation Solution: Build a relational database to support modeling and customer segmentation Result: Better targeted offers boost response to acquisition and renewal campaigns A household name for 50 years, TV Guide was feeling the pain of competing TV listing sources and a subsequent drop in newsstand sales in the late 1990s. Its circulation steadily declined by 20 percent over the course of a decade. But thanks to an aggressive modeling strategy, the tide turned in 2003. With a renewed focus on its subscribers and a relational database, TV Guide’s circulation once again is climbing. In the fall of 1999, Hairong

Balancing Act
August 1, 2004

Special Olympics focuses on long-term donor value while continuing to invest in acquisition Having an eye toward long-term donor value means you can’t just focus on getting good response to your next mailing campaign. You have to think in terms of donor lifecycles—from first-time renewals through retention and even to recapturing lapsed or dormant donors. As Joan Wheatley, vice president of donor development for Special Olympics Inc., knows, any one of these existing donor segments with whom you’ve established a relationship is likely to have a higher lifetime value than a batch of just-acquired names. For example, when it comes to renewal mailings, Special

Database Makeovers
July 1, 2004

Five companies turn data dilemmas into marketing solutions Too often, companies think of their databases as … databases: collections of names and numbers, of dates and dollar amounts. And technically, that’s what they are. But if you think of your database as just names and numbers, that’s all you’ll get out of it. Your data is your record of customer interaction; as such, it is your most valuable commodity. Like the story of the jeweler who locked up his customer list—not his diamonds—in his safe each night, marketers must revere their databases. The sad fact, however, is that much data is in disarray.

Editor’s Notes: Data Is Not the Enemy
July 1, 2004

Have you seen the June 2004 issue of Reason, which calls itself the magazine of “free minds and free markets”? Hailed as a pioneering venture into the future of mass customized magazines, this issue used database segmentation and printing technology to create custom covers for most subscribers. Each cover featured an aerial photo of the subscriber’s neighborhood, with a red circle around his or her particular home. The inside front cover offered Editor in Chief Nick Gillespie’s editorial, personalized with facts related to the subscriber’s location, such as commute time, percentage of neighbors with college degrees, etc. Even the back and inside back covers

Prospecting Done Right
June 1, 2004

Long-term Strategies for Profitable Customer Acquisition Prospecting for new customers is risky business. It’s especially risky if you don’t evaluate your prospecting efforts thoroughly. Slice the numbers one way, and you won’t grow your business as quickly. Slice the numbers another way, and you may not yield a profit from new customers. Evaluating your prospecting efforts accurately and with precision requires a minimum of five steps: Step #1: Identify your tolerance level for time between acquisition and breakeven. Step #2: Develop a long-term value (LTV) model. Step #3: Properly allocate unknown order sources back to prospecting. Step #4: Use the LTV of your