An Approach to Fusing Market Research with Database Marketing

Barry Leventhal
Berry Consulting

Introduction

In 1995 the MRS Professional Standards Committee (PSC) published a set of guidelines for handling databases, designed for market researchers working with databases containing personal details of respondents, potential respondents or respondent-identified survey data. These guidelines provide a framework for market researchers, whose Code of Conduct requires respondent confidentiality, to co-operate and work together with database marketers, who by definition select and promote to known individuals.

There have been few published instances of such co-operation actually taking place in the last two years. Ward (1997) described how TN AGB has linked its Superpanel survey to the Claritas lifestyle database, extending the uses of panel data into direct marketing. The same lifestyle database has been used by BMRB to form a link with TGI, enabling target markets defined by research to be targeted literally. Continental Research operate the Million Plus Panel, employing the lCD lifestyle database as a sampling frame for survey research. Beyond these and other isolated developments, neither market researchers nor database marketers seem to be gaining benefit from the fresh insights that greater co-operation could yield.