Data on-demand: Small investments pay big dividends

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Rick Witsell, Alliant
Rick Witsell, Alliant

Rising costs, channel proliferation and fragmented consumer attention make it tough to turn a profit on acquisition campaigns.

That's why marketers are turning to on-demand scoring and data appends for new leads and orders. On-demand data is one of the easiest — and most overlooked — opportunities for database marketers to leverage their acquisition investments. The right mix of on-demand descriptive data and performance scores will show marketers precisely how to handle an incoming lead or customer before they make the next offer. The resulting insight into the consumer's needs and intentions can lead to dramatic increases in conversion and lifetime value, whether you're selling widgets or subscription-based services. For example:

  • A consumer products marketer with a replenishment option appends data to each consumer during the order enrollment process. They use the data to optimize shipping schedules, minimize payment risk and stage cross-sell and up-sell efforts to qualified customers.

  • A merchandise marketer uses gaming websites to attract consumers and scores them in real time to qualify them for its diverse offer streams. Real-time segmentation allows them to make higher value offers to qualified consumers, thereby increasing revenue.

  • A publisher with a bill-me-later offer wanted to expand its mailing program beyond tried-and-true list segments. Scoring the responders allowed the mailer to increase its reach, while effectively managing the additional payment risk.

  • An online marketer seeks maximum exposure for its offers through online lead generation. Using a custom score as a proxy for conversion, the marketer is able to test and evaluate lead sources within days.

  • A marketer of storage space units uses anonymized demographic and direct response data to optimize offers and messaging on its websites. The marketer's site-wide conversion rates have since improved 20%.

The pattern here is apparent: On-demand data comes in many shapes and forms, but it can be used to optimize virtually any marketing operation. The best part is, it's extremely cost effective, adding just pennies to the sunken costs of acquisition.

No matter what a marketer's goals are — increased customer satisfaction and conversion, effective channel management, higher revenue per order or increased lifetime value — adding the right data at the point of contact can make a brand's database marketing organization more effective and more profitable.

Rick Witsell is VP of marketing at Alliant.

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