Management Tactics Influence Efficacy of Prospect Databases

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NEW YORK -- Prospect databases, which use multiple sources to provide detailed consumer records for marketers to acquire new clients, rely not only on the technology that supports them but also the management tactics surrounding that technology.

This point was made by Experian senior analyst and strategy consultant Caryn Gray yesterday at DM Days New York. Her talk, "Consumer Prospect Databases," covered the main aspects of managing a prospect database.

"I believe that it's never been a question of technology," she said. "The technology to do these things is here. Business process must evolve to utilize that technology so that it benefits everyone." Using multiple sources for list data has the potential to extend the reach and deepen the data that clients have on prospects.

However, it also raises concerns about staying informed on opt-out and do-not-solicit names.

"The industry needs to create a process to tell marketers that some of the names they've already been given have now opted out," Ms. Gray said. "It's the list provider's responsibility."

Ms. Gray also stressed the importance of properly integrating rented list names with in-house client databases. Many list owners place restrictions on whether the data provided will be controlled directly by the buyer or a third-party firm.

This not only complicates integration with in-house databases but also affects the buyer's ability to accumulate data history. "The only way to accumulate data history in today's environment is to put a unique identifier on the name," Ms. Gray said.

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