Skip to content

Data: Small Word, Big Impact – 4 Key Take-aways You Need to Know


What do online dating, college admissions and your credit score all have in common?  They are all functions of a data algorithm that can determine our happiness, albeit temporarily, I hope.  We are so used to being governed by data in our personal lives, we don’t even think about it.  But what about as marketers?  How can we turn this acceptance of being governed by data around and use it to find better customers and donors or get to know the ones that we have on a whole new level?

Join us on Thursday, May 19th to get these answers and more.

Here is a sneak peak of four keys to using data in marketing effectively that will be discussed:

  1. Use many kinds of data. There is a lot of data available to us as marketers.  The most popular are compiled and response data.  Think of compiled data as adjectives about your customers and response data as verbs.  Bob is 48 years old and a Boston resident.  He subscribes to Time, Inc.  It’s a good start.  But what does Bob care about?  That’s where other types of data come in: buyer, transactional, behavioral.  Finally, all these types of data can be used to create a model to predict whether or not Bob is a good target for your next campaign.
  2. Get data from many sources. Different types of data can come from different places, but this recommendation is to consider getting the same data from different sources.  For instance, telemarketing campaigns can be expensive.  If you have gotten the same phone from more than one source, you can be more confident that you will reach the intended household.  This doesn’t mean that you have to pay double.  One of those sources can be your information collected organically and then verified by an outside provider.  Or, you can start with a test between two providers and see whose data works better for you.  Or, work with a provider who multi-sources the information that they append back to your file for better coverage.
  3. Beware of the expiration date. This is the natural flip side to the importance of recent interactions in finding likely responders to your next campaign.  You need to have a “use it or lose it” mentality.  And if you don’t have “it” to use, say with a new initiative where you have no history of recent interactions, outside data can be especially effective in combination with your existing data or on its own.  Online information especially, like email addresses, is vulnerable to becoming obsolete if you don’t establish a relationship using it when you first obtain it.
  4. Create new data. Analytics remain the top investment for marketers in 2016, based on a survey conducted by Infogroup in the fall of 2015.  42% of marketers are investing in advanced analytics, which is consistent with our findings in 2013.  Analytics is the process that helps marketers take what they know and combine it in such a way that we can learn to be more predictive with our marketing.  Some of this is even happening real-time.  We need to stop thinking of data as a snapshot of a consumer that is frozen in time and more like a living portrait.

Just like dating profiles, college acceptance and rejection letters and credit scores don’t define us for a lifetime, the people we want to reach don’t stay in the same segments year after year.  As marketers, we need to be open to new information out there and new ways to use it to develop relevant and cost effective marketing campaigns.



Stephanie Ceruolo is Vice President and General Manager of Infogroup Nonprofit Solutions, a leader in Data-Driven Donor Marketing. She can be reached at