Product Promises Data for Real-Time Offers in Varied Channels

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Direct marketing veterans have developed a product that lets marketers target mass promotions to individual consumers based on demographic, psychographic, purchase history and credit qualification information in real time.

LiveDecisions was developed by RAP Interactive Inc., a Northridge, CA, list company founded by Robert "Bob" A. Perez, and by interactive marketing firm Web Decisions Inc. This Greensboro, NC, company was founded by database marketing veterans Tom Newkirk, Scott Thomas and Kim Addington, formerly chairman, CEO and chief technical officer of Experian, respectively.

"The technology allows any interactive marketer to receive instant, real-time access of an enormous amount of data that is known on each individual at the other end of the line and literally apply advanced model scores to each individual based on their propensity to buy," Mr. Perez said. "Based on these propensities, we literally enable marketers to prioritize offers in real time, dynamically."

This relevant content can be applied to a customer's interaction at a Web site, via e-mail, on the phone, at a retail point of sale or via one-to-one direct mail pieces.

For example, instead of a Web site targeting offers to a consumer based on purchase history on its site, LiveDecisions "summons all of our known information to supplement and enhance the information that is driving their business decision about what to try to market to this individual," he said.

Besides supporting immediate e-mail communications with relevant offers, LiveDecisions also allows offers to be pasted into an order confirmation or shipping confirmation.

Such confirmations are important, Mr. Addington said, because people hold onto these confirmations, "and the open rates on those e-mails are in the 90 percent-plus area."

The technology provides consumer information using proprietary data sources that include billions of recent purchases at major retailers, catalog call centers, fulfillment centers and Web sites, as well as billions of credit card, auto loan and mortgage transactions, plus demographic information on 200 million consumers. These sources are refreshed monthly, with real-time upgrades planned soon.

"The data we are using is very unique and quite powerful, and not available typically out in the open market," Mr. Perez said.

LiveDecisions also uses data from a major demographic file available in the marketplace, and the company has links to two major credit bureaus -- credit files that the company uses for permissible offers of credit.

Mr. Perez called the real-time credit data revolutionary because it lets interactive marketers "increase the ticket of their sale. Theoretically, you can sell a car right over the phone. You can take the order and prequalify the person for the auto loan, and issue the car and arrange for the car to be delivered. That was never possible before."

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