The Source-erers Apprentice

Database marketing is a complex discipline that, when practiced correctly, can yield tremendous return on investment. There are several different types of database sources, which include customer data, demographic data, psychographic data, transaction data and marketing action data. Within each of these sources, there are differences between internal, external and primary data.

Customer data is any data that is provided by, owned by, or used by the customer, which can include data that was generated by the customer when using a service. For example, if a customer is using an online social networking site, the information provided by the customer is customer data. The information owned by the customer, such as the customer’s user name, and user password is also customer data. The data that the customer generates, such as a tweet on Twitter, or a wall post on Facebook, is once again, customer data.

Demography is the statistical study of human populations. Most Demographic Data is culled from the U.S. Census Report, which exposes data such as median income, single-dwelling unit, heads of households, etc. Demographic data has become more and more sophisticated as data-gathering tools have become more sophisticated. Targeted marketing utilizing demographic profiles, which are very precise, is now possible on many online sites.

Psychographic data relates to lifestyles, personalities, interests, attitudes, and values. If you were manufacturing a new waterproof, weatherproof tent, then the psychographic data that would expose your target would be that of frequenting campsites, shopping at online retailers that specialize in outdoor clothing and equipment, etc.

Transaction data is any data that a user inputs or is input on behalf of the user during a transaction. Your car is due for the 45,000 mile service. You pull up to the service writer at the dealership, and the service writer takes information from you. That information is transaction data. Now the dealership knows that you have 47,000 miles on your car and that you just had an oil change, and they will now send you a notice three months from now to remind you that you need another oil change. They will check the tread left on your tires, and perhaps send you a reminder to buy new tires.

Marketing action data is the data that is obtained from you during a marketing-driven plan. If you receive an offer to view a free white paper, and you have to register for that privilege, that registration information is marketing action data. When you take action on a marketing initiative, the data that you give is marketing action data.

Internal, external and primary sources of data: When data is compiled from within your own company, the data is internal. When data is purchased or obtained from a secondary source, such as the government (Census) or a list provider, or another company selling their list, the data is external. Raw data, which has not been manipulated, is known as primary data.

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