Victoria Pooley – Data Marketing
This podcast episode is exploring the world of data marketing. Victoria Pooley has 20 years of experience in the field. She runs a company called TDP Agency, which is short for The Data Partnership. Initially the business offered direct marketing services through data-lead files and now provides the full shebang to save clients’ headaches. It sounds like Graham is a direct competitor!
Data marketing – the data partnership
TDP started brokering data from different data providers. But in the industry there was a lack of transparency. You could put your credibility on the line because things were not as they were said to be.
At one point, Victoria moved into providing her own data so she could claim full accountability for what she was selling to customers. This wasn’t long lasting because TDP had to evolve with GDPR and how people wanted their data being dealt with. However, that cemented the value of transparency within the company. What is integral to a business within data marketing are the relationships you build with clients and suppliers, and having their interests as well as your own, at heart.
Email marketing is cost-effective. However, it is the least performing. Often, the multichannel approach is the best kind to gain maximum response. So, you might email a client, follow it up with a telephone call, follow that up with a direct mail piece. That three-pronged ‘attack’ will get you in the psyche of the consumer.
In B2B, email is the most preferable form of marketing. In contrast to Finely Fettled, TDP offer support for email campaigns.
The core is the analysis of the data. It really isn’t a surprise that businesses have an idea of who their client is – after all, they are appealing and marketing to and working with clients. However, it really is often wrong. Target audiences are more nuanced than people often realise.
We have biases in terms of who we think our customers are. When you have a specific client-base, you’ve got to think 20% of this customer base brings in 80% of revenue. Who are they?
If you do some data analysis on these people then you can properly understand it. Then you’ll make better decisions for the company and who you’re targeting as prospectives, or follow ups for regular clients. It shouldn’t be money first, understanding second. Let’s understand first and then we can make the money.
Analysis will also give you an idea of how to write your copy as well. It tells you the types of customers that you’ve got. Copy is something Victoria outsources but will help streamline it for the customer. TDP has, in 80s terms, a rolodex of various different people that they work with.
What was your entry into the data industry like?
Victoria started in a call centre. It was an interesting insight because she didn’t realise the industry existed until she’d actually entered it! She saw there was such a lot of insight in how people are marketed. If you get calls or direct mail that doesn’t fit you, or you feel harassed, then marketers and data marketers just aren’t doing their job properly. Data marketing is all about finding the right people for the right marketing so that receivers should benefit or at least appreciate the offers they are getting.
Direct marketing is very expensive – albeit the most responsive marketing – so making sure you are sending your marketing to businesses or targeted prospects that are actually there is vital. Therefore, data cleansing is imperative. A few years down the line, almost half your data is going to be wrong.
In terms of consumer data, it really depends on whether it’s from rural areas of from a city. In rural areas, there tends not to be such a high turn over. City dwellers will move frequently so data will need refreshing. Additionally, for GDPR purposes you need to make sure your data is fresh and up to date, under the legal principles.
In fact, data cleansing is integral because correct data is paramount before you can even start marketing!
More importantly, with email it is CRUCIAL that your data is top notch. If you are sending out dead files, you can burn your IP address and get shut down. You don’t want to make mistakes before you’ve even got running!
Then, how do you check an email address is valid?
There are different sites that can help or TDP Agency can do the service for you as there are validation tools they can use.
If you cast your vision out another 10 years (to another milestone birthday), how do you feel the data industry will change within that time?
Well, the data industry has just gone through a massive change with GDPR. It means that everyone has had to pull up their socks and sort themselves out. Those in the industry have had to really dust down the compliance side of it and it needed doing – it needed a shake up. That said, it’s been a bit of a headache!
But, within the past 12 months people have become a lot more confident in what they are doing. Within the next 5 years, Victoria can see people settling down and growing what they are doing from a basic point of decent compliance, where the consumer has transparency and the market is being targeted accurately. Victoria hopes that people will be open to marketing because it is coming from the relevant places. People are not being bombarded.
Graham asks if Brexit will have an impact on businesses and marketing. There has been an increase in international data; that is definitely a trend. But, during times of financial difficulty you can find the direct marketing tends to thrive because people will look at their businesses and think how they can improve their outcomes. Generally, direct marketing is chosen because businesses can manage the response and see if business is in fact coming in.
What does success look like?
Since GDPR, Victoria has reigned in the business with her husband. She says size really isn’t everything and people can get egotistical about what success looks like. You end up taking on lots of staff because you feel pressured or you want your customers to get the best possible. But actually, 20% of your staff will do 80% of the work. It’s important to be on top of that and to acknowledge that within your staff meetings and the way you work the business.
It goes back to what John Lamerton says in his book, The Routine Machine, and episode 187. He calls himself the lazy entrepreneur who will do what he wants, when he wants, if he wants. He runs a multibillion pound business.
Simply, it’s about working smart and being efficient with time, planning and focus. It’s about eating a frog for breakfast (…that’s one for you to look up!).
and with that, Victoria has been a wonderful and cheerful guest. If you’re interested in what she has been saying, you can visit her site here, and also visit Graham’s site for information on direct marketing and data marketing.