Giant lifestyle survey to hit U.K.

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LONDON -- More than $30m will be invested during the next two years to send three national surveys to 24 million British homes in an effort to build a mammoth database on consumer lifestyles. The ambitious direct marketing effort is being conducted by ICD Marketing Services, a subsidiary of U.S. based Metromail Corp. Royal Mail says it will one the biggest mailings it has ever handled.

"The benefit to advertisers will be immense. For the first time one data source will guarantee a targeted reach to 15% of the population direct, with a message or product proposition that meets known interests. For traditional advertisers this amounts to a real alternative to above-the-line, with the powerful bonus of being able to measure impact on their brand's market share. Heinz will not be the only big-brand name to discover the bottom-line benefits of targeted marketing," says ICD Chief Executive Lionel Thain.

Detailed data on consumer profiles, habits, interests and purchasing behavior will be collect from a questionnaire personally addressed to 24 million homes. "Each survey distribution will return a 15% sample of the population. Over the two years, 10 million survey responses will provide a truly representative knowledge bank, for insight into attitudes to politics, religion, or health, and consumer needs and preference for cars, personal finance, travel, shopping, leisure and home interests," says Thain.

ICD says this single source of lifestyle data will be able to prove prospect records to meet the needs of large volume mailers. Database users will be able to cut down dramatically on expensive merge purge bills, the company says.

More than 3.5 million people responded to the ICD's initial national lifestyle survey mailed in September.

Copyright December 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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