Experian's 2004 acquisition of QAS.com is making a big splash in data management.
Ever send out a direct mail piece and have more than 1% returned from incorrect and outdated addresses? At close to 50 cents per unit for non-bulk postage rates, it can make direct mail promotions expensive if they are not reaching the right people or, even worse, are being returned.
Data management sounds like something for large corporations not small. In the past that was true, but not anymore. Small businesses generally counted on purchased mailing lists. Now, most brick and mortar establishments have an online counterpart that use integrated systems. Of course, online information is being captured everywhere customers shop.
Yet particulars can change between the input time and when it is used for promotional or informational reasons. Short of sending out repetitive info update emails or having someone assigned to the tedious task of calling, there is no good way to keep up with your customers' moves in position status, company employment or geography. Counting on customers to remember and make it easy is also not the best strategy.
Today, nearly all businesses need some sort of data management. Not only does it save money by addressing your current customers versus the gunshot approach, it also has a cumulative effect. The more updated the customer information, the easier it is to be proactive about customer behavior and therefore address needs.
Customers love to save time even if it means giving up access to complete shopping privacy. Storing credit card and other personal information often allows buying with one click of one button.
QAS touts that its software captures, validates, cleanses and standardizes contact information such as addresses, phone numbers, names, business information, emails and more. So chances of wasting money on sending electronic or snail mail promotions are minimized.
The software can be installed on location or hosted. There are obvious pros and cons to each method. If the small business has few employees and lacks technical skills then opting for having the program hosted is the right choice. However, if there is someone who can learn and maximize use of the software then it may be more advantageous to have the program in-house.
With over 13,000 customers worldwide, Experian's QAS software is becoming more popular among small businesses. Having the best tool to ensure marketing dollars are not wasted is important, particularly when on a slim budget.