Database Marketing- Boundless Possibilities.

How can Target predict you’re pregnant? What was the secret to Obama’s campaign success? Could you be paying a different price than others because of the device you use to connect to the web? It’s all in the data.

Here’s a glimpse into how corporations and political campaigns are yielding their data —

 Target

It has been discovered that life altering experiences can have a substantial effect on ones buying behavior. The birth of a child tops the list. With such great change, a person’s typical purchasing decisions are in a state of limbo and brand loyalties are up for grabs. That’s why they has developed such an algorithm, in hopes of making Target your new “one-stop-shop” for everything you need. “We knew that if we could identify [pregnant women] in their second trimester, there’s a good chance we could capture them for years,” said Pole who developed Target’s pregnancy algorithm. Target has one of the biggest databases on customer information around, including things like; where you live, what jobs you’ve held, your estimated salary and the brands you prefer. In addition, they record every interaction each individual has with the company. So what’s the purpose of the data that Target collects on us? Its meaningless without the technical marketers they’ve hire to decode it. Their job is to put it into an informative context, and that’s where targeted advertising and personalization enter the picture. It’s an understatement to say that Target is really good at this.

 Barak Obama-United States-Politics

A big part of the 2012 campaign involved the use of cookies, understanding individual preferences and how they spent time online. Along with these cookies, data played a very important role. Data had been collected on campaign supporters since Obama’s win in 2008, they “spent the past 18 months creating a new, unified database, factoring in some 80 pieces of information about each person, from age, race and sex to voting history.” This information was then used in a massive email targeting strategy based upon each persons preference combination. A great example is in the variation of emails that went out to supporters about the pricey dinner held at Sarah Jessica Parker’s home, “There were seven versions of the email solicitation for the fundraiser, some mentioning a second fundraiser that night, a concert by Mariah Carey, others that Ms. Parker is a mother, and still others that Vogue editor Anna Wintour would be at the dinner.” And the proof is in the pudding- Obama’s campaign was a great success. Target marketing campaigns using data mining we’re a major player in the presidents second win.

Orbitz

“According to Forrester, the average household income for adult owners of Mac computers is $98,560, compared with $74,452 for a PC owner.” Taking these findings into consideration, Orbitz, the online travel booking agency, has different algorithms in place for each. More often than not, the higher priced hotel rooms appear when searched through a Mac than would the same search criteria via a PC. It’s also important to note that through their own number crunching they have discovered that Mac users tend to spend about twenty to thirty dollars more per night on the same hotel room as their PC counterparts. So logically, this is a strategic and well calculated moved on Orbitz behalf. Yet another great example of how a business is using their collected customer data to better their return.

So what are the takeaways?

We can’t neglect the value that databases hold, but we do need the right people to extract it. The possibilities are seemingly endless when it comes to what a business can do with it’s collected data. The more you know about the customer, the better suited you are to target them correctly. After all, why collect data if we’re not going to take full advantage of what it has to offer? This brings us 180 degrees back to the idea of why it’s so vital to be a technical marketer- the ability to communicate with databases and complete an “end-to-end” marketing plan with that information in mind puts you leaps and bounds above the competition. Don’t underestimate the importance of SQL and customer data, because others aren’t.

Good news? I think so. Dance it out.

Dance it Out

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