Image from Mashable.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Ever wondered what happens on the interwebs when you hit search on Google? They've put together a handy little infographic that explains the process.
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Recently New York Times ran a story about Target's data mining efforts. By looking at the historical buying patterns of mothers who joined the Target baby registries they can predict pregnancy amongst current Target customers.
Target started to put together baby coupons and catalogues and sent them to those they predicted were pregnant. Target sent one such catalogue to a household with a teen daughter. The father called to complain about this, only to realise a couple of days later that his daughter really was pregnant.
Target is now having to make the baby content in catalogues look a bit more random, like placing nappies near lawn mowing equipment, so people are not spooked by the fact Target has predicted that they are pregnant.
Isn't it strange that companies are now getting so good at predicting what we need that they have to play it down? It does present a great opportunity for brand and organisations to serve the needs of customer before they even know they need it…
More info on the data-mining from NYT:
"[Target statistician Andrew Pole] ran test after test, analyzing the data, and before long some useful patterns emerged. Lotions, for example. Lots of people buy lotion, but one of Pole’s colleagues noticed that women on the baby registry were buying larger quantities of unscented lotion around the beginning of their second trimester. Another analyst noted that sometime in the first 20 weeks, pregnant women loaded up on supplements like calcium, magnesium and zinc. Many shoppers purchase soap and cotton balls, but when someone suddenly starts buying lots of scent-free soap and extra-big bags of cotton balls, in addition to hand sanitizers and washcloths, it signals they could be getting close to their delivery date.
As Pole’s computers crawled through the data, he was able to identify about 25 products that, when analyzed together, allowed him to assign each shopper a “pregnancy prediction” score. More important, he could also estimate her due date to within a small window, so Target could send coupons timed to very specific stages of her pregnancy.
One Target employee I spoke to provided a hypothetical example. Take a fictional Target shopper named Jenny Ward, who is 23, lives in Atlanta and in March bought cocoa-butter lotion, a purse largeenough to double as a diaper bag, zinc and magnesium supplements and a bright blue rug. There’s, say, an 87 percent chance that she’s pregnant and that her delivery date is sometime in late August."
Evian have created a digital object which enables customers to order deliveries to their home. It's a fridge magnet which connects to the internet via wifi. By placing it on the fridge Evian have come up with a practical way of keeping their brand front of mind and enabling customers to order more product at the moment of need.