Correct household segmentation boosts ROI: DM News/Experian webinar

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Choosing the right household segmentation can help increase your return on investment by more than 37 percent.

That was a key finding from a DM News webinar yesterday sponsored by Costa Mesa, CA-based Experian, a provider of analytical and information services to organizations and consumers.

"The data at a household level and geo-demographic level [are] very important," said Cindy Eisenhard, vertical segment leader at Experian Marketing Services. "But the most important component is selecting the right segmentation systems."

The webinar offered examples of several Experian case studies that used either fixed or custom segmentation, focusing on demographic information, attitudinal information or purchase behavior.

There are many differences between fixed- and custom-segmentation systems, Ms. Eisenhard said.

"Fixed systems have been proven in the marketplace," she said, "while custom systems are validated based on method and vendor."

She said fixed segmentation systems have more accurate projection to household-level, rich-psychographic and geo-demographic data and a direct link to media-planning tools such as syndicated days. They are most cost-effective, too.

One case study discussed a leading beverage company that needed to improve customer loyalty and marketing ROI. It selected an attitudinal, fixed-household segmentation system built from primary and syndicated research.

The segmentation system was able to identify customer loyalty and profitability, and the company received a 12 percent increase in customer loyalty - "its most valuable customer segmentation performance was even better," said Regina Gray, vice president of analytics at Experian Decision Services, who also participated in the webinar.

The other case study discussed a pre-paid-wireless-phone service provider whose objective was to improve win-back and reduce churn by using a custom attitudinal-household-segmentation system to identify what motivates heavy brand users.

The results? The company saw a reactivation rate of 27 percent. It decreased win-back spend by half, and new customer churn was reduced by 30 percent, Ms. Gray said.

The final case study involved Advil PM. The brand used a custom geo-demographic household segmentation system to help target ads on AOL for its new brand launch online. The target was women age 35 to 64 who take over-the-counter medication for sleeplessness due to pain.

As a result of the system, Advil PM was successfully launched online using the same insight-driven targeted households.

In closing, Ms. Eisenhard reiterated the importance of choosing the right segmentation system for the brand.

She explained the importance of making sure that the segmentation system chosen is aligned to the primary need of the brand, actionable, clear to use, quick to implement and measurable.

"These are the key criteria to drive a successful segmentation implementation," she said.

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