Fifteen list management companies vastly improved the quality of their datacards during the fourth quarter, according to NextMark.
The datacards were judged on their usefulness for direct marketing, compared to the previous quarter. Companies that improved most were Saavoy Lists, Mazzone Marketing Group, Global Addresses Inc., Net60 and Vente Inc.
Overall, 64 list management companies got an ‘A’ (a score of 90 or greater) for data card quality in the fourth quarter and 23 of those companies got a perfect score of 100, says Nextmark.
Every quarter, Nextmark evaluates datacard quality through an algorithm that takes into account such factors as last update, base price, selects, market, type, description, segments, geography and categorization. Individual datacard scores are calculated using a weighted average of 13 attributes, with an emphasis on recent updates . A list manager’s score is the average of all the data card scores in their portfolio.
“If all that information isn’t made available then, the buyer can’t make a decision by looking at it,” says Chris Demartine, director of business development, NextMark.
The quality of datacards is an ongoing issue in the list industry. http://directmag.com/lists/1109-lists-list/index.html
So why aren’t they more of a priority for some firms? Time is one possible explanation.
“What usually happens is that there might be a lag in terms of the updates so a list might update monthly but they may only [report it quarterly because it takes time to go in and update it,” says Demartine.
He notes that in some cases, direct marketing companies have to write new creative copy for datacards, another task that cannot be done that quickly. And another potential problem is company size.
“The challenge is if it’s a larger enterprise that has a couple of thousand datacards on the market and the majority of those cards are updated monthly, they need to go in and look at every one of them and confirmed if they are valid,” says Demartine.
NextMark’s next datacard quality report comes out in April.