On 12/1/96 ACME Direct purchases some new enhancement data that will tell them peoples ages, marital status, number of children, income levels, and job level

  1. Consider the following case study:
  • On 12/1/96 ACME Direct purchases some new enhancement data that will tell them peoples ages, marital status, number of children, income levels, and job level (blue collar, executive, etc.)
  • On 1/1/97 they conducted a “When” test to 10,000 names residing on our database with an offer for a unique family oriented interactive computer game (still in the planning stages).
  • They immediately analyzed the sample on 3/1/97 and determined those that ordered were mostly between the ages of 30-35, married, with children, and employed in executive management.
  • On 1/1/98 (one year later) the new computer game complete and ready to be sold.

Is ACME Direct advised to update their enhancement data regarding marital status, children data and employment information before applying the selection criteria based on the 3/1/97 test?  And, why or why not?

  • The marketing director at ACME Direct wishes to mail a promotion next month for a new book product she tested one year ago to her primary customer segment.  Last month ACME Direct appended some new demographic and psychographic data to the customer file.   Can the marketing director use this new enhancement data to help determine who to promote for this new book product?  And, why or why not?
  • Your database contains 10,345,823 names.  You wish to pull a sample of size 10,000 names for an upcoming format test.  The first name you pull from the database is at position 55.  What is the position of the next name you will pull from the database employing the nth select methodology?
  • Assume the following information regarding ACME Direct’s customer database:
  • ACME updates all customer transactions once per week on the database.
  • ACME updates enhancement information (e.g., age, income, marital status, etc.) on the customer file every January from an outside vendor.
  • On a quarterly basis (January 1, April 1, July 1, October 1) ACME saves a complete snap-shot of the entire customer database (including all enhancement and census level data) as backup in case a major catastrophe occurs.  They save each quarterly file for two years.  These quarterly files are sent to a different location, out of state, for safe keeping.
  • Their database contains 8,500,000 names of which 5,350,000 are active within the past 24 months.

On August 26, 1999, a new senior product manager at ACME Direct test promoted a cookbook offer to a random and representative sample of 10,000 active customers from the database.  In particular, the 10,000 names were pulled from the database (residing at ACME’s fulfillment house) and sent to the letter shop.  All direct mail pieces were addressed and mailed from the letter shop on August 26, 1999. 

On June 14, 2000 the new senior product manager asked her analyst to examine the 10,000 sample to determine what characteristics uniquely identify customers most likely to order this cookbook in preparation for a large scale roll-out in December 2000.  Unfortunately, the new senior product manager at ACME Direct did not realize she needed to ask their fulfillment house to save a copy of her sample with all customer characteristics frozen point-in-time of the promotion.  Therefore, she only knows which customers were promoted and which ones ordered but does not know what they each looked like at the time of the promotion since no frozen file was requested.

The senior product manager will surely be fired from her job for wasting the company’s money on this test by not saving a frozen file of the sample for analysis purposes.  Is there any way she can salvage the test and still analyze the characteristics of the responders versus non-responders?  If so, be very specific as to how she can accomplish this.

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