Integrating New Data Sources to Grow Your Universe

Many marketers are spending more, only to experience decreasing response rates. Competition for eyeballs and market share is making it more challenging for marketers to remain top of mind with prospects, grow relationships, and retain customers.

The plain and simple truth is that it is becoming harder to identify – and market to – only the best prospects.

As a result, many marketers traditionally have looked to expand their universe by tapping into new data sources. But thanks to new improvements in technology – and the skills of the people who use it – adding new sources of data now relies less on emotions and “gut feel” and more on fact-based, systematic approaches that can be tested prior to implementation to yield the best results.

Before adding your next name, review these key tips:

  • Challenge your assumptions. Too many marketers think that they truly know their key demographics. A merchant may think “We market only to 25 to 65 year olds” and that view never changes. But assumptions can act as virtual blinders, causing you to systematically ignore groups of consumers and potential markets. Relax your constraints and you will potentially uncover a new untapped audience.
  • Know your data from your content. Not all data is valuable content. We’ve all known a marketer who wanted to add names merely for the sake of adding names with idea that more names will boost response rates. Fortunately, advances in the way that marketers access and use information are putting an end to these outdated approaches. That’s where content management – the process of accessing, evaluating, and integrating data – comes into play.
  • Utilize multiple credit and compiled data sources. Operating under time and resource constraints, many marketers utilize only a single credit or compiled data source. Instead, break away from this traditional practice and leverage the strengths of multiple data sources by incorporating multiple credit and compiled data sources into your marketable universe.

Optimize your mix of list sources. Merchants are tasked with selecting just a few lists from among the thousands currently available. Not surprisingly, many marketers consistently fail to successfully identify and incorporate the most appropriate new compiled, vertical and trigger specialty lists. To help ensure success, marketers should follow a disciplined content evaluation approach to identify the optimal mix of data sources.

Finding the best, most complete content is just the first step. It is then up to your database marketing team to leverage all selected data sources to create highly segmented predictive models based on precise factors to improve lift. By integrating the best content from new sources, you’ll expand your customer universe with fresh, untapped quality names.

Ozgur Dogan is senior director of database marketing solutions for Lanham, MD-based database marking company Merkle.

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