Harte-Hanks expands IT database

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Direct marketing services provider Harte-Hanks announced this week that it has expanded its CI Technology Database to help business-to-business marketers segment and target US IT decision makers. The database now includes information about 4 million business locations.

Randy Ilas, VP of product development and marketing for Harte-Hanks Market Intelligence, said his company decided to expand the database in response to customer feedback.

“We realized [our customers] needed more intelligence about the small-to-medium-sized business market,” he said. “As you move down to businesses that have less than 500 employees, there's not a whole lot of information on them. [The database] had to get bigger because what marketers needed coverage on was bigger.”

Developing new methods of collecting information about these specific business locations was a key challenge, said Ilas.

“We traditionally collect our data over the phone,” he said. “We continue to do it but we've also developed new electronic methods of verification to help us build this database. It was something we had to work to develop and do.”

Harte-Hanks, which expanded the database without external help, compiled information from various sources, including surveys that poll the type of technology installed at a business location; the business location's technology purchase plans; and the local decision-makers with that specific business location.

Harte-Hanks then combined data from these surveys to give a predictive score from one, being the lowest, to five, being the highest, on the likelihood that the location has installed or intends to buy a particular technology.

“This scoring gives our customers extended reach into this broad market,” said Ilas. “What we're trying to do is take a B2C perspective to the B2B market and help marketers be smarter about how they invest their money.”

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