Using Your Relational Database

Relational databases open up a world of marketing opportunities, according to Jim Coogan, president of Sante Fe, NM-based Catalog Marketing Economics who lists below ways to wring sales from your database.

* A primary advantage with a database is you can segment your house file into many small segments. You’ll see opportunities to suppress poor responding segments and to increase the frequency of hot segments.

* Divide your buyers by channel. Segment into traditional catalog buyers, internet buyers that resulted from a catalog mailing, pure internet buyers that came through internet search, affiliate marketing or other kinds of internet generated traffic, and multibuyers who’ve bought both through your call center and through the internet. Multibuyers are the Holy Grail of multichannel marketers.

* Are you combining different kinds of merchandise in a single catalog? Look at the value of buyers of different kinds of merchandise. Segment buyers by merchandise type and look at their response rates and their lifetime value. Look to expand the frequency of mailing your high value merchandise buyers. Look to expand the best categories by broadening your merchandise selection within the best categories.

* Look to create a family of catalogs. Can you create vendor exclusive catalogs? Can you create catalogs with a single category of merchandise? Small circulation catalogs allow you to mail more frequently to your best customers.

* Have the cooperative databases model your high value merchandise buyers and measure if you can expand prospecting universe or increase your sales per catalog. Have the cooperative databases build affinity tables of the catalogs that have your high value merchandise …and have them build affinity tables of catalogs you don’t want to prospect too (either because their merchandise is too low ticket or their buyers are too different from your core buyers.

* Use cluster analysis to group your merchandise buyers into natural clusters and see if you have distinct, disjoint populations of buyers. Grow your business by looking for your best buyers.

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