By John Pooley, Managing Director, The Data Partnership
When it comes to effective direct marketing campaigns, accurate consumer lifestyle data is king. However, companies and marketers face a tougher challenge regarding the sourcing of the correct data for their needs.
Budget restraints and the temptation of the cheaper dataset which fits comfortably within budget but don’t produce the desired response is a growing concern.
So given the quality and accuracy of consumer lifestyle data can make or break a DM campaign, how then can you ensure that you get the right data for both your marketing needs and budgets?
1. Know your market
Know your market and pick the most appropriate collection channel for that target audience. It’s common sense, but you’d be surprised by how many DM campaigns fall at the first hurdle. If you’re looking to execute a telemarketing campaign, nine times out of ten lifestyle data collected from telephone surveys will produce the best results.
Likewise, data generated from online surveys tend to produce the most effective email campaigns. If consumers are responsive to surveys via a certain channel, they’ll probably be responsive to your marketing via that channel as well. It’s therefore important to use the collection channel that builds the most responsive database for your target market.
2. Don’t limit yourself to one collection medium
As effective as data collection is online, you have to make sure that your target audience are those people that use the internet, and ask the question whether you are reaching the biggest possible audience using just one medium.
Telephone and online surveys both have their benefits, so you shouldn’t necessarily limit yourself to data from one given source.
By collecting data via both channels you can reach a much wider cross-section of demographics, some of whom would have been missed otherwise. As with all campaigns, your end goal and how you intend to use the data once collected will influence the best road to go down.
3. Look at your customer base to profile your prospects
Your customer database is your most valuable commodity in a company. By using profiling to look for commonalities in your customer-base you can gain a detailed understanding of who your customers are, where they live and what interests them.
This insight can then be used to find prospects who share these common traits and interests; in doing so you can greatly improve the response rates of your communications.
4. Go online to build your email database
Telephone collected data outweighs online collected data in terms of providing superior in-depth, quality leads, however it still isn’t the best medium to capture email addresses accurately.
Online data collection is a fast, cheap and effective way to build large databases of opted-in email addresses attached to detailed consumer lifestyle data. The fact that email addresses can be validated straight away removes any problems around inaccurate data input.
5. Don’t be afraid to test
Budgets constraints shouldn’t be the reason for choosing one method when all are available and have advantages which will lead to increased campaign response. I suggest to a lot of my clients to test both methods and work with them to ensure they reach the correct target market for their campaign type.
6. If budgets are limited consider second usage data
Companies that do not have large budgets should consider licensing second usage data.
This is when customer leads previously generated from specially commissioned surveys are made available [after a certain period of time] to companies other than the primary sponsor. This provides companies with a cheaper way of targeting warm leads than sponsoring questions.
7. Questions to ask every data supplier
To ensure you are only ever supplied the highest quality customer leads make sure you always ask your prospective data supplier the following questions:
• How do you collect the data??
• How has the data been opted-in??
• If generated online, which websites have you used??
• If generated by phone, do you record the calls to ensure compliance??
• Which companies do you work with??
• Do you have trade references from previous/current customers??
• How does your data perform compared to other companies in the industry?
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