So Many Data, So Little Time

Most multichannel merchants typically have no shortage of good data, says Scott Cone, vice president of Professional Services at Lanham, MD-based Merkle Direct Marketing. But they often fall short when trying to identify and effectively use the information. “There is a major difference between data and content,” he explains. “While data are simply facts with questionable value, content is comprised of data that have proven predictive, descriptive, and business value.”

Rather than looking at all the information available, Cone suggests focusing on data that have “measurable value” to your company. “Marketers can easily miss the big picture because they separately examine and test each type of multisourced data, which includes demographic data, credit data, and data from multiple vertical lists.”

A best-practice approach to content management, according to Cone, links multisourced demographic and credit data in a way that allows you to measure the value “not only in each name, but in the overall predictive value of the data.”

Usually companies look at the value of every single name but if you’re able to look at both the credit and demographic data it’s going to give a different view of the customer. Don’t “silo” your data; rather rather combine them and you’ll get a more targeted view.

For example, a Fortune 500 company that uses a variety of direct marketing approaches was able to eliminate one of its four major sources of prospect data by reviewing all the data in context. It saved about a $1 million while maintaining its results.

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