Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

When bad data happens to good ideas, II

Suppose you are responsible for marketing a product with a very specific target market... say, households with young children.  Or more specifically, households with really young children.  You'd probably want to reach out to those households directly (which would be a lot cheaper than mass-market advertising).  Fortunately for you, it's not too hard to come by lists of such households - the names and addresses of families who just have babies seem to be relatively easy to come by (as I'm sure anyone who has had a baby recently is all too aware).

We received a package from just such a company today - a rather hefty box with two large containers of baby formula* and plenty of coupons.  

Here's the thing, though.  Our "baby" just turned two last week.  They mailed us a "Dear first time Mom" package two years late.

The best marketing ideas don't matter if you don't have the right data behind it.

History: When bad data happens to good ideas

*Disclaimer:  This post should not in any way be seen as recommending or promoting the use of baby formula.  Breastmilk is best.