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Analytics and the Oakland A’s (not that kind of analytics)

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The Oakland Athletics Score with Mobile Coupons headlined an article about this new approach to delivering coupons. Reading this it seemed to me that this was an opportunity for the Oakland A’s, well known for their use of analytics in player selection, to bring analytics to bear on the marketing operations.

Mobile coupons are constrained in space and time and so must be particularly well targeted. Analytics, both descriptive analytic/data mining and predictive analytics, are well established in the marketing field for targeting, segmentation and offer acceptance prediction. Combining these analytics with rules about specific individuals, what their opt-in status is, what their past buying behavior is and so on enables effective targeting decisions to be made. Perhaps more importantly it allows these decisions to be automated. Instead of the decision to send a particular offer to a group of customers, why not make a decision for each customer as to what offer to send them? Target them directly, personalize the offer, maximize the chance that it is relevant. Why offer a discount on a single game ticket to a season ticket holder, for instance, or a discount to a restaurant that’s the other side of the ballpark from their seats? Personalization of mobile coupons seems to me to be more important than the personalization of more traditional coupons. Let’s hope the A’s are as smart about this kind of analytics as they are about the other kind.

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