B2C, Data, Data Driven Marketing, Marketing

Porridge, a Broken Chair, and the Data Behind It

We’ve all heard the story of Goldilocks. She was a sweet but foolish little girl whose poor decisions could’ve left her facing charges of breaking and entering. It all started with Goldilocks taking a stroll through the woods near her house. There she found an unfamiliar cottage and entered when her knocks at the door went unanswered. Unbeknownst to her, this cottage was home to the “Three Bears” who were simply out on a walk. Once inside the cottage, Goldilocks proceeded through a series of experiments testing the size, comfort, and taste of chairs, beds, and porridge. She did all of this, only to find that the smallest chairs, beds, and bowls were most comfortable for her. In fact, according to her, those things belonging to “Baby Bear” were, “just right.”

Unfortunately for the three bears, Goldilocks’ visit left them with bowls of eaten porridge, a small, broken chair, and three messed up beds, one still containing the bothersome blonde. For Goldilocks, she got off easy. She managed to escape the grasps of the three angry bears, leaving with a full stomach and a nice nap.

During the intrusion, Goldilocks’ one goal was to find the porridge, chair, and bed that was just right for her. At ANS, we’re all about using our data technology to help our clients find those people who are the best fit for their product or service offering. Now, this might be a bit of a stretch for some of you (though isn’t a story about three bears that sleep in beds and eat porridge a bit of a stretch anyway?), but let’s consider how our data technology could have changed the story for Goldilocks.

Data Modeling and Choosing the Right House

Goldilocks may have eventually found a bed that was comfortable for her, but at what cost? There was wasted time testing furniture and food only to find that perfect bed after it was too late. What if she had known the right house to visit even before she started her adventure in the woods? Data modeling makes this possible.

At ANS, we can take a client’s current customer database, analyze it, and find the unique characteristics of each individual within the database. Once we’ve determined these characteristics, we use our data technology to identify the above-average commonalities among all individuals in the database. These commonalities include age, gender, income, marital status, hobbies, religion, and more. These commonalities become the “model” for your database. Using this model, we compare your records with our national consumer and business database. Doing so supplies other leads that match your ideal customer.

Had Goldilocks hired ANS before her walk through the woods, her story may have been quite different. She might have told us that her ideal cottage is one with married adults who like to cook (preferably not bears), multiple children, and within two miles of her home. We could have then compared those characteristics with our database and sent her on her way with a list of highly targeted contacts. With no wasted effort, she could have met her goals of finding a comfortable place for breakfast and a nap.

Data Hygiene and Avoiding the Bears Altogether

Suppose in Goldilocks’ case, the cottage of the three bears came up as a perfect match for her target customer. It’s still possible for her to avoid the wasted time and resources, and most of all, avoid a close call with three upset bears.

Data hygiene is the process of taking one’s current database and “cleaning” it. This cleaning consists of removing duplicate records, updating addresses with the NCOA (National Change of Address) system, correcting and matching addresses with CASS (Coding Accuracy Support System), and removing phone numbers on the “do not call” list. Likewise, addresses that have expressed disinterest in direct marketing are marked as “panders” and removed from the data. Businesses that invest in data hygiene can save 12-20% by avoiding wasted marketing dollars on inaccurate information.

Had Goldilocks taken this important step, ANS would have informed her that the three bears had been listed as “panders” and had no interest in Goldilocks visiting their cottage and trying out their things. In fact, she would have known not to reach out to them in the first place, avoiding their grizzly responses.

Data Append To Quickly Find the Perfect Bed

Often, data is incomplete and contains only partial contact information. For instance, a business may have the phone number and email address for a customer but not their mailing address. Without this information, conducting a successful direct mail campaign would be problematic. Using our vast databases, ANS can take this incomplete customer record and supplement the needed information to the existing record. Developing this robust customer record makes effective marketing strategies like multi-channel marketing possible.

For Goldilocks, she spent too much time testing the different porridges and furniture finding the one that was just right. After leaving the kitchen, she knew two things: a) there were three individuals to eat those bowls of porridge and sit in those chairs and b) the smallest chair was too small for her. She had no idea that upstairs she would find a bed that was just right. It may have been too small like the chair she left broken in the kitchen. Had Goldilocks utilized data append, ANS could have taken the information she knew (porridge bowls and chairs) and supplemented it with the information she needed (the sizes of the beds upstairs). With data append, Goldilocks would know that in the bear’s cottage was porridge that was just right, a chair that was too small, and a bed of the perfect size for her needs.

At ANS, we have the data technology to make your next marketing campaign a success. Although helping Goldilocks is a bit far-fetched and simplified, with ANS on your side, we can help you reach your target customers and get the most out of your marketing dollars. Unlike Goldilocks, your potential success is no fairytale. Contact us today and let us get your next campaign “just right.”

Blog post written by Brawn Baker, Digital Media Marketer at ANS

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