Better ways to exploit databases
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The rapidly-changing software market dictates that market information, whether competitive analysis or customer assessment, is of major import to global players in the arena. Macon Consulting and NOP are working together to find better ways of driving value from customer databases, and they are in an enviable position to do so.

Macon Consulting is an independent UK marketing and analysis consultancy specialising in data-driven analysis, evaluation and below the line marketing implementation. NOP’s expertise ranges from customer profiling to market segmentation, to ad awareness and tracking; recent growth in the market for implementation management has also proved of interest. 

Propensity to buy
In a constantly changing environment, clients need more than statistics and opinions – they need insights and recommendations. The NOP/Macon ‘Channel Preference’ predictive models rank customers by their propensity to buy specific products through the different channels available to them.

The models are based on information from the NOP Financial Research Survey (FRS) database. The results, when used in combination with product propensity models, will support cross-selling to specific customers through the most appropriate channel, or choose the best targets for any particular channel.

Brain Birkhead, managing director of Macon said: “We believe these models are superior by dint of their being attributable at the level of individuals’ propensity to use a particular channel, and to use different channels for different products.”

Who would have thought it
The output from the first integration of research and customer data is fascinating. It shows segments of consumers who:
• are over four times more likely than average to buy certain products face-to-face, but are only one fifth as likely to buy through the post.
• are three times as likely to buy direct rather than via retail channels.
• appear to be completely against Internet shopping.

Julia Beaver, director of NOP Financial, says that the information is a major source of competitive advantage. “We chose to work with Macon, not only because they have the experience and skills we were looking for, but also because they share this same vision”.

The NOP FRS contains nine sections of data collated from an annual respondent base of 60,000 people, aged 16 plus, who are representative of the Great Britain population.

As telecoms services become increasingly complex companies must have a good understanding, not only of the structure of the changing markets, but also of the current and emerging technologies.
New media research is a particular strength for NOP, and the establishment of its Mobile Internet Studies has helped to cement its reputation. Recent ad-hoc studies in the New Media arena have included several research studies into the rapid growth of e-commerce, the launch of broadband Internet products and web-based TV trials.

Recent developments include the development of on-line decision-maker panels – and the trialling of WAP-based interviewing techniques.  NOP is also at the forefront of web-based data delivery techniques, with extranet provision of data becoming the norm for our strategic clients.

About Macon
Macon is an independent database marketing and analysis consultancy, founded in 1992, with a cross-centre blue chip client list. Its services include:
• strategic review and development
• data and capabilities audit
• customer profiling and analysis
• campaign evaluation
• training and skill transfer

Macon’s clients include First Direct, egg, Alliance & Leicester, Prudential, AbbeyNational, Barclays Bank, and Standard Life. 



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