Database: Playing Your Cards Right
Getting the right message to the right person at the right time is both more complex and yet more possible. Before, marketers just had to worry about who to target. Now, it's not only about who to target, but also about when, how and with what products and offers. With abundant behavioral data and advanced analytical techniques, some marketers are figuring out exactly that.
Some supermarket chains collect transaction history through their discount-offering loyalty cards and, with that data, they offer the right amount of discount for the product in which you may be interested at the moment when you're about to run out of it. The fact that a young mother received a 10 percent discount coupon though her mobile phone for diapers four weeks after the last purchase of the same product is no coincidence anymore—the amount of data and analytical work to pull it through warrants that it's not a coincidence.
Some may think of data privacy when stories like this are told but, in the end, everybody wins with fewer trees cut down for printing wasted coupons.
Know Where to Fold
Even without any transaction history or other behavioral data, advanced targeting is entirely possible. For example, geodemographics—analyzing and categorizing people based upon where they live—is one way to help sort and deliver messages with far higher probabilities of success. By looking at the demographic data of an area, neighborhood or even street, marketers can craft messages to be more appealing. They can use the same data to avoid marketing to a given area altogether, hopefully increasing their chances in other regions of focus.
For example, when you enter personal information after a tour of a timeshare vacation home, what's on the next screen is exactly carved out for you based on where you live. If you entered your name as well, such offers would be customized on a household level. With hundreds of demographic variables tied to areas and households, the marketers behind it have already calculated the probability of purchase—even by price ranges—and offer you the right package before you see a single salesperson. They will also honor your channel preference as "you" have indicated.