Knowing which industry presents your best prospects often helps when pinpointing which of your customers are most profitable. Credit card marketer MBNA (Maryland Bank of North America) is a good example. Profitable customers in the credit card business have three characteristics in common: they charge a lot on the card, carry the occasional bal-
Figure 1.4 Percentage of Target Carrying MBNA Credit Cards
Source: MBNA Annual Report.
ance, and rarely default on their loans. MBNA discovered that this profile happens to be consistent with that of certain professionals such as dentists, lawyers, and doctors.
Well-known for its affinity-marketing prowess, MBNA built cards to appeal to these three vertical markets. They got cozy with the necessary professional organizations and built dominant market share in the incredibly saturated small business credit card market; today, 47 percent of lawyers and 67 percent of all dentists and physicians in the United States carry an MBNA card (see Figure 1.4).
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