Targeting company making diapers, like Kimberly-Clark, may acquire


The targeting ability of direct marketing can
be greatly enhanced by a systematic development of the direct marketer’s
database. Someone who knows your address and, thus, your postal zip code or
census block group, can obtain information from database companies about
various characteristics (such as the median income, average age, etc.), of the
zip code in which you live, based on the average for the geodemographic cluster
in which you live (such clusters are discussed in Chapter 6). This information
is then used to assess whether you are a likely prospect for a particular
product, on the assumption that your individual profile is similar to the
average data available for your zip code. The average profile of people living
in some of Donnelley’s “Cluster plus” forty-seven clusters are
provided in Figure 3-1; every household can be classified into one of these
clusters based on its zip code.

In addition, data are also available that
apply to consumers as individuals: lifestyle (hobby and activity) information
supplied on product warranty registra­tion cards can be purchased, as can
driving license and automobile registration data (in most states). Any other
source to whom consumers reveal their incomes or age or anything else may also
sell this information to the large database com­panies (such as Donnelley, Metro
mail, Polk, etc.) that maintain household data­bases on almost every household
in the United States. Databases on business establishments are maintained by
companies like Dun & Bradstreet, containing in­formation on the businesses’
sales, number of employees, and nature of business (using the Standard
Industrial Classification, or SIC, code).

Companies can also acquire names from their
databases in other creative ways: a company making diapers, like
Kimberly-Clark, may acquire the names of all those expectant mothers who take a
childbirth class before deliveryor from newspaper birth announcements after the
delivery. Many packaged goods compa­nies attempt to “capture” the
names and addresses of users by obtaining them from sweepstakes entries, from
those sending in mail-in offers for promotional pre­miums and gifts, from those
who cash in rebates or writing in response to free sam­ple offers, or from
those who include a sweepstakes entry form as part of a regular grocery coupon
that is redeemed in a store. The consumer who writes in a name and address on
the redeemed coupon thus not only receives the coupon’s promised cents-off but
also enters a sweepstakes. Retailers build up lists of cus­tomers by obtaining
names and addresses as part of the regular sales process. Ob­viously, the
availability of such information on consumers raises all kinds of concerns
about privacy’


Sales promotions are of two broad types:
consumer promotions, such as coupons, ampling, premiums, sweepstakes, low-cost
financing deals, and rebates; and trade promotions, such as slotting
allowances, allowances for featuring the product in re­tail advertising,
display and merchandising allowances, and the like. They are used to get
consumers to try or to repurchase the brand and to get the retail trade to
carry and to “push” the brand.

promotions are also used by manufacturers to “discriminate” between
different segments of consumers—for example, only those consumers