How Clean Is Your Database?
July 1, 2005

Companies increasingly are placing a high priority on database marketing initiatives. According to the report “In Search of a Single Version of Truth: Strategies for Consolidating Analytic Silos,” released by The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI) last summer, consolidation continues to remain a top project for businesses. Driving this urge to merge is the “need for consistent data across the enterprise,” as noted by 90 percent of the respondents to TDWI’s survey. Respondents also reported that only about one-third of all the data structures in their enterprise were consolidated. What’s the stumbling block? The TDWI report points to disagreement between company departments on “terms and

Catalog and Direct Selling: Get Them Back
December 1, 2004

... for the second sale It’s the end of the year and you’re probably tabulating the first-time buyer count—how many customers have made their very first purchase this year. And you’re also looking at how many first-time buyers you have overall—customers who’ve only made one purchase in their lifetime. To keep the customer file strong and profitable, these first-time buyers need to buy again next year. But, next year is just days away. What can you do to influence a second purchase? Begin With RFM Planning how to influence the second sale should be part of your overall annual contact strategy. The annual contact

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

It’s All About the Offer: Time to Pull the Trigger?
November 1, 2004

Technology enables marketers to customize direct mail offers beyond personalization Traditional direct mail personalization techniques allow you to customize communications at the group level, using information such as age, income, location and education. However, these techniques cannot address the fact that every segmentation group is comprised of individuals with very different wants, needs, attitudes and buying behaviors. Trigger programs give marketers added power to act on individually supplied facts about what each customer actually wants and needs rather than statistical inferences. Direct response trigger programs use an individual’s responses to media, input, interactions, purchase transactions and even complaints to deliver a fully customized marketing message at

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