CRM Special Report: Taking CRM Outside
February 1, 2004

Elements of a Successful Outsourced Solution Outsourcing CRM solutions is a growing phenomenon that is generating a good deal of interest. For the purposes of this article, outsourced CRM solutions are defined as marketing automation applications that may include: hosted marketing databases, campaign management, lead generation/management, reporting and/or data mining. These applications may be hosted singly or in a turnkey solution. The benefits of outsourcing a CRM solution can be substantial, both in terms of revenue enhancement and cost reduction. Typically, marketers see benefits accrue slowly in the first few months after implementation, as the new technology and processes are thoroughly learned and integrated

Database Special Report: An Analytical Approach to Banking
January 1, 2004

Last fall, Frost Bank invested in an aggressive deposit growth strategy with a series of new checking account products. The year-long campaign kicked off mid-October with a free checking account program—a first for this Texas-based bank. Creative for the campaign, which included in-branch signs, promotional handouts and a direct mail piece, played on Frost’s 135-year history as a trusted financial institution in Texas. Instead of mailing to particular Zip codes based on branch locations—a strategy often practiced by banks—Frost started digging into its customer database. With the help of Alcott Routon, a direct marketing agency based in Nashville, TN, Frost began to develop a

Database Special Report: The Big Picture of Address Quality
January 1, 2004

Have you ever seen a Web site sign-up form with separate boxes to enter city, state and ZIP code, but only a single line for address? The Web designer made things simple and fast for the visitor. Unfortunately, the marketer is then left with an unusable address. Historically, businesses have compartmentalized for efficiency. And this is one reason why database marketing isn’t easy. Unless you can control the focus, another department’s objective may become your problem. The value of your database rests on small things. Many of your larger purposes will depend on how well your addresses can be matched up to external data.

Database Special Report: Art Meets Science
January 1, 2004

How to Anticipate Customer Behavior with Analytics Know your customers and give them what they want—this is the fundamental principle of marketing. While simple in theory, it is challenging to put into practice. Short of mind reading, it’s difficult to know what’s on a customer’s mind today, or anticipate what he or she may need or want tomorrow. The challenge doesn’t stem from lack of customer data. Through every response, customer contact, event, transaction and Web site hit, customers and prospects give information about themselves. Databases are chock-full of these useful tidbits, and call centers and other customer-management systems also are overflowing with details

When is NCOA Not Enough?
May 1, 2003

By Jack Schember During the past 12 years I moved four times in Southern California—from Mission Viejo to Lake Forest to Long Beach to Laguna Niguel. My career also took me to new locales, from Santa Ana to Dana Point and Rancho Santa Margarita. You guessed it: I'm like millions of Americans who don't stay in one place for too long. So if you're a marketer trying to keep track of my whereabouts, best of luck! The U.S. Postal Service says 43 million of us pick up and move every year. Many of us will take a few minutes to file a change-of-address notice

Data Quality Checkup (1,424 words)
December 1, 1999

To understand how pervasive an issue data quality is within a direct marketing organization, think back to the old TV commercials: "BASF—We make the things you buy better." As Trish Brothers, product marketing specialist at Firstlogic Inc., La Crosse, WI, explains, "Whether it's marketing activities, marketing results or data mining, data quality makes it better." As amazing as it may seem, the simple problem of duplicate records is still the number-one data-quality issue. "But it (a dupe) is really a symptom of how well you can match your existing data," Brothers says. For instance, she says, pointing to this writer's name as an

Trade Secrets Reviewing Marketing Data Over Time Yields Power
November 1, 1999

In a previous article, ("Segmentation Secrets," Target Marketing, Sept. 1999, pp. 58-62) we examined some of the secrets that are typically uncovered when reviewing marketing data. In this article, we will look at the secrets for the more experienced marketer.

Does the Shoe Fit? How to Select Demographic Data to Enhance Yo
October 1, 1999

by Christine A. Smiley Imagine as you walk by your favorite department store that you impulsively purchase this season's trendiest shoes and wear them home. But you soon realize that shoes are very uncomfortable, and they quickly find a permanent home in the spare closet. You wish you had spent more time going to different stores to compare prices, styles and overall fit. Fortunately, an investment in a pair of worthless shoes may go unnoticed. But companies looking to make a substantial investment in demographic data want to be sure that the purchase will add value to their marketing decisions over time. Even with

Cloning Your Best Customers (1,173 words)
July 1, 1998

by Bob McKim For many years, companies like Claritas, MicroVision, Trans Union and the Polk Company have offered cluster systems, which define customer populations by demographically-defined lifestyle or lifestage descriptions. Developed using statistical analysis of census data and other sources, these systems became quickly popular and widespread in marketing research circles. Terms such as "dinks," "yuppies" and "empty-nesters" became popular marketing lingo. The problem with this method of characterizing a customer base is it ignores the fact that households are not cliches but have their own individual lifestyles. This ZIP+4 clustering, while interesting, does not allow for individual distinctions and therefore households can