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The Common Thread Is Data

Posted by Steven Sheck, President, Infinite Media

October 17, 2017

There’s a classic 1970 TV commercial for Barney’s Men’s Store, a New York fixture for many years, that may interest direct mail marketers.

It goes like this:

Several young boys are sitting on the front stoop of a New York City tenement building. They ask each other what they are going to do when they grow up.

A young Bogart boasts in his best tough guy voice he is going to be a big time movie actor.

A second, gravel-voiced Louie, is going to be a great horn player and singer.

Fiorello is going to be Mayor of New York City.

Casey is going to the World Series.

A bookish sort – “little Barney” – is sneeringly asked what he’s going to do.

The answer: “I don’t know, but you’ll all need clothes.”

That’s the common thread.

So it is with direct marketers. Whether campaigns are about entertainment, politics, groceries or healthcare, anything that can be imagined and sold directly to consumers, they’ll all need data.

If a data provider expects to enjoy star status the lists they offer need to have special qualities:

  • Data must be fresh and accurate
  • Records and appends must be available at scale to achieve maximum reach
  • Good value is is a given

Data brokers and managers must possess a range of skills including:

  • Insight into what makes a target tick
  • The ability to discern between look alike and seem alike
  • The flexibility to provide entire records or specific appends across a range of channels
  • A keen understanding of customer behavior, as in who buys what via which channel(s) and why
  • A sense of where the target is in their unique customer journey
  • A feel for the ebb and flow of audience interest as a function of age, seasonality, price, and more

Whatever the product or service, however competitive the direct marketer’s niche or grand their designs, if they expect to succeed the common thread is high quality data from an expert provider, tailored just for them. View the Barney’s commercial on YouTube.


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