One-to-One Marketing and the "Shot Heard 'Round the World"
The implicit promise in those words: Create a detailed database of information about each customer, whereupon it's a no-brainer to create sales, loyalty and profits. What's missing from the premise: computers and technology don't create sales, loyalty and profits. People do—specifically, savvy direct marketers and creative wizards who know how to make an offer, ask for an order and create wants.
I thought about this a good deal when I read Prager's article about the 1951 Giants team that, it turns out, didn't win fair and square after all. They'd devised a system of reading the opposing team's signals during home games. A spotter, peering through a spyglass from a perch in manager Leo Durocher's locked office, would read the finger signals the opposing team's catcher was giving to his pitcher. Next to the spotter was a button that rang a buzzer in the center-field bullpen. Sitting in the bullpen was backup Giants' catcher Salvadore Yvars, easily seen by the batter just off the pitcher's left shoulder. One buzz meant a change-up, whereupon Yvars would cross his legs.
Two buzzes signaled a fastball, and Yvars would sit motionless, which is precisely what happened at 3:57 p.m. when Ralph Branca-—who was 13-12 for the season with 118 strikeouts and a 3.26 ERA—unleashed that historic pitch.
In the words of announcer Russ Hodges on WMCA:
Branca throws. There's a long drive. It's going to be—I believe! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! Bobby Thomson hits into the lower deck of the left-field stands. They're going crazy! Oohhh-oohhh!
Under the Peppers and Rogers scenario, that home run was a slam-dunk because Thomson knew everything about the forthcoming pitch. However, it must be remembered that Thomson had to hit a Branca fastball. If the bat had connected with the ball by as little as one-eighth of an inch off the sweet spot, it would've resulted in a hot grounder or a high pop-up.