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

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

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

Prospect Databases ... A New Direction for Today’s Mailer
June 1, 2004

Despite the success of the Internet as a lead-generation tool, direct mail continues to be the best way for many companies to acquire new customers. During the past two decades, mailers have developed very efficient and profitable direct mail methods. Intense competition has reduced the price of rental names to make direct mail highly lucrative when the right offer is sent to the right audience. Most marketers think that after 20 years of direct mail experience the industry has tried everything—but they’re wrong. What I’m going to outline in this article will astonish some long-time direct mail practitioners. It represents a new direction

A Billion-Dollar Bank Takes Steps to Retain Customers
May 1, 2004

BankFinancial, a $1.6 billion financial institution, is no stranger to predictive marketing. It has been reaping the benefits of it for some seven years. Recently, however, BankFinancial executives wanted to be more proactive with efforts to retain the approximately 1.5 percent of BankFinancial customers who left the bank each year, but felt limited in their ability to mix data sources and segment effectively. They enlisted SPSS’s recently released PredictiveMarketing software, which enables the integration of data sources, such as records at the transactional level, account level, and even customer and household level. Staff now can “slice and dice” data in many ways. “It’s like