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Data mining: It's cloning for marketers

November 03, 2021 / Katharine Gebhardt

When I first started my business, every course and seminar I took raised the same question: Who’s your ideal customer? Since I had no customers, I had to use some imagination – I was starting from scratch to find the best customers. But as a Broker, you have a head start. You have a treasure trove of customer information in your Broker Management System (BMS).

You can use the data you already have to find out who your best customers are. Then you can find more of them – almost like cloning your best customers.

Organizations that leverage customer behavioural insights outperform peers by 85% in sales growth and more than 25% in gross margin. Research by McKinsey consultants suggests that data mining isn’t just for the big guys, either. Most organizations have plenty of low-hanging fruit they can start with.

First, dig into that BMS goldmine

Data from your BMS will tell you who your best customers are. You may already have an idea who they are, but that changes based on how you define “best”. If you ask your team, they may define their best customers as the ones who are easiest to deal with. If you own the brokerage, you might say your best customers are the ones who are the most profitable.

It’s worth taking a look at the data and filtering on different values so you can really decide what it is you want more of.

Ideally, you want to rank your customers so you’re finding more of the best type of customer for you. Maybe that will be the ones with longevity, or the ones who spend the most – or the ones who meet both of those criteria.

Once you know who your best customers are, you need their addresses

In particular, you’ll need their postal code, showing the:

  • FSA – the first half of the postal code (“A1A”).
  • LDU – the second half of the postal code (“1A1”).

Second, use free tools to find more of them

People who live in the same neighbourhood tend to have a lot in common, says Dan Schottlander, President of directworx. In particular, they tend to have similar income levels, but also education levels, longevity in the area, preferences in how they get information, values, lifestyles and hobbies.

Let’s say you’ve found that your best customers are homeowners, who have two cars, kids in high school or university and are about 15 years from retirement. Chances are they have a lot of neighbours who are a lot like them. And you have the key: their postal codes in your BMS.

Birds of a feather really do “flock together”

When it comes to prospecting, that’s your guiding principle. If you look at the best customers you have, chances are that will tell you where you can find more just like them.

Dan recommends you get familiar with a powerful (and free) tool from Canada Post - Precision targeterTM. This tool helps you set up a mailing plan to find consumers similar to your best customers, based on postal codes stored in your BMS. You can choose the LDUs where your best customers live. Then you can use the built-in filters to maximize finding the best consumers for you.

Make sure you filter out your existing customers (since nobody likes to get an introductory mailer or offer when they’ve been a customer for years), and you’ve got a plan to reach those great consumers. A Canada Post Smartmail MarketingTM Expert Partner, like directwork, can do this for you with Canada Post’s targeting tool.

We all have that great customer – the one we wish we could find lots more of

Make the most of your own data – the data that confirms who your best customer is. Then combine it with Canada Post’s Precision Targeter and you’ll be well on your way to finding the best consumers to build your brokerage.

Related articles:

Data mining: Piecing together a beautiful picture

What treasures are hidden in your data?


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