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“If only I had a crystal ball” – Predictive Analytics Can Give You That Crystal Ball View

February 26, 2010

At the Retail Summit conference this week, we had a chance to listen and talk to leading retail executives.   Richard Scott Saban was one of the attendees and offered great insights during the conference.

I really enjoyed his Feb 18, 2010, Retail Touch Points article, “Powering Customer Intelligence with Predictive Analytics”. (

Scott talks about the question that these economic times spark for all of us, “If only I had a crystal ball…”  Scott comments that predictive analytics put the crystal ball in our hand.  He notes that that seeing the future and what our customers want from us is based on leveraging our customer data.   Creating a single view of our customer offers us the ability to differentiate their experiences and motivate engagement.  With that single view we can determine which customers will respond to a particular promotion – thus giving us a virtual crystal ball.

I had to smile when I read Scott’s reflection on mass messaging as a “weapon of mass destruction”.  He shares what we all know about promotion fatigue – “The destruction is a direct result of becoming an annoyance to your customers by bombarding them with offers that have no relevance to them”.    Aren’t we all too familiar with those providers that send us messages too often and don’t seem to have any idea about what we are interested in?  Let’s commit to eliminating those “weapons of mass destruction” and leverage what we know about our customers to give them what they want and get what we need.  (There is another blog idea in that “Rolling Stones” song!!)

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