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  Who are you?

Who are you?

Direct marketing companies have many othe ways of appropriating data bodies. Allowing form regional and national variations, data are obtained from registration cards, telephone directories, social insurance data bass, religious groups, educational institutions, trade unions, registry offices, banks and of course from the date trace left behind in digital environments, e.g. by clicking on an advertising banner. Direct marketing companies collect als this data systemtically and enhance them, i.e. they associate a range of different indicators with a person's name. Techniques used range from simple inferences ("if you are German and your name is Claudia, you are 80 % likely to be between 25 and 33 years old") to complicated data mining programmes such as Knowledge Seeker, Enterprise Miner, or Scenario. Indicators include

    postal address


    size of household

    age group

    purchasing power

    neighbourhood quality

    size of town


    professional and academic titles

    phone and fax numbers

    e-mail address

    pronness for mail-order purchasing

    number of children

    age of children

    marital status

    purchasing patterns

    investment behaviour

    credit status

    credit history


    nature of products and services purchased

    many other social and economic indicators

There can be a hundred or more indicators associated to an individual's name. Direct marketing companies such as Abacus direct and Schober maintain databases that include almost everybody with a social existence. In fact, dirct marketing in increasingly becoming the modern individual's constant companion, starting from birth: in many places, new-born babies receive gift boxes with baby food, toys and other baby products - in return for their personal data.

browse Report:
Data Bodies
-4   Global data bodies - intro
-3   Dos and donts of the data body economy
-2   Virtual body and data body
-1   Like that car? The tricks of the data body industry
0   Who are you?
+1   Transparent customers. Direct marketing online
+2   Online data capturing
+3   Feeding the data body
Become your own data merchant!