Data is the base of our success

Like it or not, all consumers are individuals and are increasingly not only beginning to expect to be treated as such, but are demanding it (Factfile, MW November 13). This has led to a plateau in advertising spend and a significant increase in investment in direct marketing. The latest figures from the Direct Marketing Association show DM budgets increased by six per cent in 2002 to £11.85bn.

As the article highlighted, we really need to understand our customers if we are to create new marketing strategies. The only way to put customers at the heart of this process is through data, and I believe that the future success of organisations will be founded on their ability to use data as the basis for defining their marketing strategies.

Data has become the new vogue as marketers strive towards building more effective and relevant one-to-one communications with customers. They are able to use it to unlock even greater insight into customer behaviour than ever before. And as customers are starting to respond to communications that are relevant only to them, marketers cannot afford to underestimate the value of it. So let’s give data the respect it deserves and invest the time needed to understand how valuable this asset is to a company.

Richard Roche

Head of business development

Royal Mail

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