Great read: “Predictive Analytics isn’t bad; bad marketing is bad”

Predictive analytics isn’t bad; bad marketing is bad

Came across this article and couldn’t help but recall my most recent experience with not bad … but horrible marketing.

Being a database guy and working in retail, nothing irks me more than when I get a marketing email that clearly has no science behind it.  Sure, the predictive piece is difficult but common sense isn’t.  For example: I recently bought a blazer at a well-respected retailer.  This was my very first purchase at this store and during the checkout process I provided my email address to get the receipt.  They now have me in their system!

A few days later I received my first bit of correspondence from them.

I’m not a huge fashion guy — but I was sure this wouldn’t match my brown blazer.  Over the next few weeks, I received more and more emails — none of which resulted in a purchase and all of which are more examples of bad marketing.

What a wasted opportunity!  With very little effort and even less science, this retailer should have known that people who buy mens blazers tend to be …. well, men.  And at the very least, their weekly marketing campaigns should be broken into two segments: men and women.

With the analytic functions Netezza offers, this particular retailer could have gotten a lot smarter and more precise by using FPGROWTH to  identify what are the top items purchased by other customers who also bought a blazer.  They could go even further and include geography in that analysis knowing that a shopper in Maryland behaves differently than a shopper in California.

Until our email providers offer a filter that not only eliminates spam but also off-the-marketing messages, bad marketing is something we’ll have to live with.

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