Friday, November 19, 2010

When Logic is Abandoned p2

I received some comments from Professor Kim on my previous, when Logic is Abandoned, post:

Food for thought.




I'm confused. My job for the past 20 years has been to identify the best segments or targets to market my products against. Once identified, often using demographic data such as gender, age, household size, or income, I would then discriminate and send certain offers based on consumer profiling. I would not send offers for petfood to men, nor promotions for bridal gowns to older women. You see, we know that it is ridiculous, inefficient, and wasteful to send the wrong offer to the wrong person. So....using past data we profile. And based on the profile, we determine if you are somebody who will receive a marketing message or not. Profiling is at the heart of what marketers do. We call it segmentation, but it is essentially determining the likelihood of different groups to want your product or service.





I believe it is only responsible to segment / profile. And I say this as somebody who has been on the receiving end of being perceived to be the wrong profile. I've bought more cars than I can count, and as a 40 something year old female, I still have to tell car salesmen that I have cash and am a serious buyer. You see, they profile me. I've bought 4 houses and have been profiled. I walk into an upscale department store wearing workout clothes, and they profile me. Profiling is endemic because it helps us use our resources wisely. If we had unconstrained resources, we wouldn't care. But we don't. It's time that we face facts, use a little common sense, and use data to help predict the next terrorist. It's simply dumb not to!

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