Whether they’re businesses or consumers, new movers are in need of numerous products and services. Consumers require the offerings of banks, pharmacies, interior decorators, cable and satellite TV companies, auto repair shops, and home improvement centers, says John Bagnasco, senior account executive with Pearl River NY-based list firm Walter Karl. Businesses on the move as well as new businesses also seek out banks, as well as companies offering postage meter equipment, payroll administration, office equipment, office remodeling, and security services, among other offerings.
There was a time when marketing such products and services to prospective buyers was more a function of simply making the offering available and attractive to them. Today, however, technological advances enable marketers to reach new movers at exactly the right time, which Bagnasco says is most often immediately following the consumer move-in date or the reestablishment of the business.
A number of data suppliers, from traditional data marketers to directory assistance firms, have created or have gained access to databases of new movers and new businesses. The sources of the data vary, as does the quality of the data itself. Data providers of this type use such sources as directory assistance data, local telephone directories, home deed information available through public records, and utility company new connects.
The best source of data in terms of timeliness, according to Bagnasco, is telephone company new-connect information. “New movers and new businesses alike waste little time in activating a phone line with their local phone companies,” he explains. “Because of this, new-connect information is superior to data compiled from sources such as directories and deed information gleaned from public records. Such information is generally several weeks or even months old by the time it becomes available.”
New-connect data have their shortcomings, however. “Many data providers sourcing their information from directory assistance companies, or directory assistance companies themselves who are marketing new connect data that they have acquired from telephone companies, are not taking the time to go through a data hygiene process,” Bagnasco says. “This is because such data is intended for directory assistance use only, rather than for direct marketing purposes. The result can be the delivery of data that is supposed to represent an actual new mover or new business but in reality simply represents a second telephone line or fax line or data line at an existing residence or established business.”
The best data are derived directly from telephone companies and then carefully cleaned to remove records that do not represent new movers or new businesses. “The data provider should be able to clearly indicate that it is authorized by the telephone companies to offer such data for direct marketing purposes,” Bagnasco continues. “The cost of such data, which is typically slightly more than that of less reliable sources, is more than offset by the savings on direct mail pieces, postage, and other aspects of a mailing program that would otherwise be wasted whenever delivery is not to a true new mover or new business.”