Magazine article Marketing

Delivering Dynamic Data

Magazine article Marketing

Delivering Dynamic Data

Article excerpt

Tony Coad's work on the Telegraph customer database will be valuable to editors and its editors and its advertisers alike.

A quarter of a million Daily Telegraph readers got an invitation recently, though not necessarily of the kind which everyone would welcome. It was an invitation to complete a detailed survey form, with nearly 90 questions on everything from reading habits to hobbies and personal finances. Large numbers are obliging - and not just for the chance to win a Renault Laguna or a case of champagne in the accompanying prize draw.

The questionnaire is one of the first outward signs of what Tony Coad is up to since joining the Telegraph Group a year ago as development director. Having helped to found NDL - one of the country's leading lifestyle database companies - he stunned the direct marketing industry when he quit to take up the Telegraph post. For Coad, however, it was a chance to do something new in the industry where he started his career.

What the Telegraph is doing is important on two planes. It is seeking to bind its customers, the readers, more closely to it by identifying their needs. In the process, it is developing an enhanced service for its advertisers. The paper will be able to say that it has 'so many thousand' individuals on its database who have recently indicated that they are in the market for a new car, or thinking about health insurance, or whatever.

"But are we a loyalty programme?" asks Coad. "I've concluded that we are, absolutely. We're putting the foundations in place for a personal relationship with our readers that goes beyond the relationship we have already.

"Some people say you can only define loyalty in terms of what people buy from you and not in terms of warm feelings. On that level, too, we are trying to encourage people to interact economically - to sample more of what it is we do."

More of what they do? For heaven's sake, they produce a highly respected broadsheet newspaper six days a week and a sister paper on Sundays. How much more is there?

Coad laughs. For a start, he believes the group is reaching some very different audiences:

* There are 150,000 registered readers of Electronic Telegraph on the Internet - highly intelligent people, very IT-orientated and likely to be accessing the Net from university sites. The majority live outside the UK

* There are 360,000 players of Fantasy Football - mainly 25- to 40-year-olds, very affluent, with a sporting and active social lifestyle

* And there is the core Telegraph readership - tending to middle age, very financially aware and four times more likely than average to have a household income of [pounds]35,000-plus. …

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