Think that Bentley drivers from Brentwood are a good bet for an unsecured credit line? Want to target Cadillac Fleetwood owners from Lake Forest for mutual funds?

If people are indeed what they drive, you may well target those folks through a new 10-million-household database from TRW Target Marketing Services designed to "allow marketers to confidently expand their promotions into areas where their prospects are strongest." With the flick of a computer cursor, marketers can choose from such categories as vehicle age, price class, country of origin (imported or domestic?), model class and body style (are drivers of convertibles better bets for newfangled products than sedan people?).

Car purchase information isn't the only grist for the TRW Modeled Vehicle Owner Database. It also offers such selection categories as demographic, geographic, neighborhood lifestyles and vital statistics, drawing from the credit reporting agency's extensive consumer data, motor vehicle registration data and "advanced pattern recognition technology" from Pattern Associates Inc. of Evanston, IL. This company builds forecasting and segmentation models for direct marketing.

For marketers who want another strategy, TRW is offering a Buyers Response Database, expected to hold 9 million records by year-end. Its lifestyle and behavioral data derives from information volunteered on the registration cards consumers have been filling out for years after buying durable goods like appliances or refrigerators. Ah-we knew that information was going somewhere.

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