I have been meaning to write a post about this subject for some time now. I always put it off, because I never felt sure that I really knew what I was going to talk about. At my Mesa Alphagraphics center, we have sold quite a few demographic profiles to our customers with an overwhelming great response from our customers. Unfortunately for me, I was not the person who sold the project or did the footwork necessary to make the project a success. Since then, I have taken a few webinar classes on the subject and I now feel more comfortable talking about this very important part of our marketing arsenal.
So, What is an AlphaGraphics Demographic Profile?
A customer demographics profile is also know by other terms such as a “data append” or a “customer snapshot” or a “customer data analysis”. In simplistic terms, what this really entails is a complete analysis of your existing customer base. We take a listing of your customers, along-with their address and put this listing through national data banks to get a profile on those customers. For a consumer listing these demographic items include: how many adults in the house, age, credit cards held, dwelling type, gender, home ownership, household income, marital status, interests, children’s ages, whether they respond to direct mail, ethnic category, home equity, home value, length of residence, number of children and a few more categories. Once your customer list is crunched through the computers, we then get a great analysis of who your existing best customers are and what are their buying habits. This analysis then gives us the right filters to use to determine who your best prospects are. We can then buy a very targeted list of your best prospects to devote your marketing dollars towards.
A Satisfied Customer
I will give you one example of how we have used this process with one of our clients. This customer runs a collection of adult living facilities. In the past, we have mailed out over 30,000 pieces per month into various zip codes using a target age as the only filter. The object of the mailer is to get a tour of the facility where the sales staff can do their job. These mailers were successful (in the 1% range) in helping this facility maintain a high level of occupancy. We proposed to this client that we do a demographic profile of the people that had shown up for these tours. (My client captured this information from each person who agreed to a tour.) Crunching this information into the computer gave us a great profile of who my client should be targeting. Based upon this information, we upgraded the mailer from a postcard to an open house invitation inside an envelope. We decreased the mailer to 1,000 pieces per month. The response rate increased significantly and the first facility was filled in an economy where all other adult living facilities are experiencing significant vacancies. We are now working on the other facilities of this client.
What About Business to Business?
A few years ago, trying to do a demographic profile on a list of business customers was very expensive. The cost is now comparable to doing the consumer list. The demographic items that a business profile uses are as follows: annual sales, legal status, minority owned business designation, owner vs. renter, SIC Division, Website URL present, number of employees, location type, non-profit business, owner gender, SOHO, number of years in business and many more. We have yet to do a business profile yet, but we are in the process with one of our customers to provide this service.
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