Polk Set to Debut New FastPath Modeling Tool

The Polk Co. said mailers will benefit from quicker construction of sophisticated models and delivery of scored lists with its FastPath Modeling tool, which it will introduce next week.

FastPath is applicable to all Polk list products, including TotaList, The Lifestyle Selector, Buyer's-By-Mail and High-Tech Connect. It is designed to improve the turnaround time of Polk's Customer Predictive Analysis (CPA), Response Predictive Analysis (RPA) and Matrix models.

Polk said it developed FastPath in response to customer demand for quicker and more efficient list scoring, and FastPath enables CPA and RPA models to be built in a few weeks and deliver scored lists within days.

“I usually don't have two months of time to build a model. It's nice to anticipate and use the products in a quick turnaround period,'' said Susie Furman, executive vice president of Preferred Communications and Lists, Falls Church, VA, who has tested FastPath with TotaList.

Polk developed FastPath to leverage its core model-building competency with Lifestyle Selector across all of its list products. Lifestyle Selector was developed more than 20 years ago to deliver sophisticated analysis quickly and efficiently. By shortening the model-building process, Polk said, the company's analytic staff, which is organized by specific industry, can spend more time fine-tuning the model and performing further analysis to meet customer needs.

“We're providing a high level of analysis, which allows us to be very fine-tuned in terms of the audience that we're choosing for targeted marketing messages,'' said FastPath product manager Laura Lucido.

Modeling takes known data about customers and respondents from a house file, matches it to a larger database and outputs prospects who share characteristics similar to current buyers. These prospects then are scored to determine those most likely to respond to a direct marketing offer. Regression analysis is another form of modeling that pinpoints the differences between respondents and nonrespondents.

Prospecting becomes more targeted when models are supported by an enhancement database with hundreds of selections. Polk's TotaList consumer database includes demographic, automotive and lifestyle information on more than 100 million U.S. households, Lifestyle Selector contains self-reported information on 35 million individuals, Buyers-By-Mail information on 35 million mail-order buyers and Hi-Tech Connect information on more than 22 million users of technology products.

Effective prospecting can improve response rates, lower the acquisition cost per customer and improve customer retention, especially when it's done in a timely manner.

“Anything a vendor can do to streamline the process is a real help, a real aid for brokers,'' Lucido said. “In this industry, turnaround is a big part of the marketing component.''

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