Relevance and Relative Dates

Matt LiszewskiWhen we put relative date operations into our software platform, I don't think anyone truly had an appreciation for how powerful they would be. They've been part of the platform for a while now, but it's interesting to see how much steam they've picked up lately with our customers and prospective customers.
So, what's a relative date operation? It's pretty simple. An absolute date operation would be "give me all new orders between January 21 to January 27." A relative date operation would be "give me all new orders in the last week." As time progresses, the date range is relative based on whatever the current date is. This makes doing time-based targeting a lot easier.

For example, let’s say I’m a hotel chain. On my website, I have a booking process where people can create a reservation. If someone is arriving on a Monday or departing on a Friday, I want to try and up-sell them a weekend package so they stay a few more nights.

To do this, all I have to do is create a segment with a couple of conditions, then combine them with an OR statement as follows:

After I build this simple segment, I would enable it as a display rule so it can be applied to ‘live zone” content within the hotel’s online booking process. If the visitor drops off, I could also send an abandonment email with dynamic content that uses this same display rule as well.

What’s also great about relative date operations is that they are really easy to add in our platform. If we don’t have the exact one a customer needs, we usually have it in there by the next release. If you have an idea for a new one, let me know using the comments box below.


  1. Posted January 30, 2009 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    In the example you provided this tool makes an awful lot of sense especially as it looks to work in real human terms rather than the complex conditionals that some engines use. What would really seem to make this useful to me is if you could layer in other attributes from the customer as well (maybe you can?).

    Using your example if you wanted to upsell hotel customers on a weekend stay it would make a lot of sense to also see if they lived locally (say the same state) or 5000 miles away. Both can still be upsold but they need a different message to address the impact and costs associated with the decision.

  2. Posted March 5, 2009 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    Ted…apologies for the delayed response here. Happened to be reading through comments and saw yours. We’re actually going to be rolling out relative location conditions real soon. So you could say AND is within an X miles for zip code 44311. That work? 🙂

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