• Simon Remington

Not so frequently used selections

Direct marketing lists can offer a vast array of targeting opportunities. However most enquiries I receive tend to focus on the same two or three variables.

Location, industry and employee size are most requested when marketing to businesses while location, age and income tend to be the favoured options for consumer list requests.

Head office/branch office is a selection I rarely have specified but my client will often use when prompted. Depending on the industry, head office may make all the decisions in relation to the type of purchase you are promoting and going to branches pointless.

Whether a company is locally/foreign owned or is publicly listed are two rarely used options but available with some lists. Whether a company markets to other businesses, consumers or is a not-for profit organisation is also rarely used.

Estimated salary and experience level are also available, the latter can be useful if you are wanting to reach out to 'influencers' who are not as time poor and marketed to as heavily as their more senior colleagues.

Number of locations can also be used however this tends to be based on entries for that firm on the database. They may in reality have even more sites.

Consumer lists and in particular survey based lists can offer up hundreds of different selection criteria. Rather than list them all here, my advice is to come up with a wish list of at least five and see how much of it is possible.

Home ownership, property value, presence of children, age of children, employment status and charitable preferences are just a few examples. Depending on the list, the information will either be self-reported by the individual who then consents to receive direct marketing offers or modeled at census collection district level to comply with regulatory requirements.

With last month's postal increases, it is more important than ever that list selection is as targeted and relevant to the audience as can be. The likely continuing reduction in mail volumes as I have said here previously presents an opportunity to direct marketers who persist and excel at their craft.

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