Thursday, 29 March 2012

Data's an expense but knowledge is a bargain

Hardly a day goes past at the moment without some guru or other blathering on about the importance of data.

The thing is data is worthless if you don't gain any insights from it.

And nowhere is this more important than in direct marketing.

In 2012 the eDM is rapidly taking the place of standard direct mail.

Which is not surprising given it costs 2/3 of nothing to email thousands of people.

But what so many of the agencies pumping out eDMs fail to realise is the basic rules of direct marketing still apply whether use use email or snail mail.

Know your customer!

An eDM I recently received from PayPal is a great case in point.

A cursory glance at the email reveals quite quickly that these people know very little about me.

But they should.

After all I've been on eBay for 12 years and using Paypal for around 10.

So they must have a decent amount of data on me.

Yet that data is worthless if no insights are gained from it.

And if they'd bothered to look at my data PayPal would know:

* My name is Stanley Johnson not Johnson Stanley

* I am a middle aged man so I am not a Supre shopper

* I live in Melbourne so have no interest in Sydney Easter show

* I am 4sq Mayor of my local Dan Murphy's and buy beer not bubbles.

What a waste.

A waste of money. A waste of my time. And a huge waste of all that valuable data.