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Customer Data Management Can Green Your Marketing

Green Marketing: Leveraging Customer Data to Reduce Environmental Waste.

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Direct Mail and Customer Data Management

Each year, more than 100 million trees are destroyed, three million cars’ worth of energy is consumed and reprehensible-by-any-measure amounts of greenhouse gas is emitted into the atmosphere—all in the name of producing, distributing and disposing of direct mail solicitations.

Retailers are starting to turn their attention to the problem. In particular, they’re considering the important role of customer data management.

Duplicate catalogs being delivered to customers and address errors resulting in returned catalogs are key contributors to what is commonly known as marketing waste.

Database Marketing Practices and Technologies

Database marketing practices and technologies, including a real-time customer data integration solution can help eliminate duplicate and returned catalogs.

Best Buy is beefing up its customer data capabilities, and in the process steadily reducing the volume of unwanted direct mail it produces and distributes to the 130 million customers in its database. Over time, the company’s direct mail communications are becoming increasingly personalized, based on customers’ past purchase behaviors, their geo-demographic and psychographic characteristics, and their value to the brand.

The intention of "green marketing" is to be able to offer up only content that marketers know is going to resonate with each specific consumer. A lot of list cleansing using persistent key processes help ensure that marketers make customer data as accurate as possible.

Direct Marketing Association’s "Green 15" Environmental Best Practices

"Green 15" includes a set of "environmental action steps" the DMA is encouraging marketers to take "to minimize defective addresses, duplicate addresses, unwanted mail and undeliverable mail".

These steps include:

  • Merge/purge thoroughly by matching against outside lists, house lists and suppression files.
  • Ensure accuracy of all incoming names by using Zip Code correction, address standardization, NCOA data, etc.
  • Subject outside lists to the same hygiene standards as a house list.
  • Provide mechanisms that allow recipients to modify or eliminate direct mail.
  • Utilize predictive models and segmentation.

Participate in Green Marketing Survey

Aberdeen benchmark report “Green Marketing: Leveraging Customer Data to Reduce Environmental Waste.” (Readers are invited to take the 5-minute survey — Green Marketing Survey and, in return, receive a complimentary copy of the final report, when published.)

The goal of the report is to further educate the marketplace about the value of customer data management from a green marketing perspective.

SOURCE: Jeff Zabin is a research fellow at the Aberdeen Group
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Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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