Are you "American Royalty"? Perhaps you're better described as "Kids and Cabernet" or maybe you "Work Hard and Pray Hard." Chances are you have no idea what I'm talking about. If so, ask Delta Air Lines.
These categories are among the 71 so-called "unique Mosaic types"__or clusters of American consumer segments as defined by Experian, a marketing services firm known widely as one of three major credit bureaus. This Mosaic type is just one of many attributes Delta collects and stores for frequent flyer profiles, and, presumably, uses for marketing to and servicing customers.
It's no secret that many companies, including travel suppliers, are compiling ever-larger heaps of data on their customers. Personalization, tailored deals, individual offers, micro-targeting__all those things travel marketers buzz about are based on both factual information and assumptions about individual consumers.
The veil on Delta's approach to this sort of thing was lifted a bit when enterprising frequent flyers and bloggers found a way to access some of the information the carrier collects on its SkyMiles members. You can read about it in frequent flyer blogs and chat rooms here, here and here.
As for me__apparently a member of the "Gotham Blend" category__Delta stored in my profile about 40 data points or assumptions. Some of them are expected: SkyMiles number, birth date, gender, preferred airport and SkyMiles balance. Pretty ho-hum.
But there are some interesting categories: Estimated home value and income level, number of children, so-called "mindset segmentation" and, of course, my Mosaic type.
There also are some cryptic things in my profile data, like "CustValSeg." I presume that means Customer Value Segment, but Delta hasn't yet responded to my request to define that and other attributes.
What's the response to all this from SkyMiles members? A BoardingArea blogger called it "creepy." Others yawned at what they assumed were data points that any loyalty program would track. Some commenters suggested that Delta was way off in its data and assumptions, while others thought the information was spot-on, with one commenter even calling it "spooky accurate."
Want to see what Delta has on you?
Log into your SkyMiles account on delta.com, and then paste this URL (https://www.delta.com/databroker/bcdata.action) into the same browser. You'll get a jumble of codes and data, which hopefully you can at least partially interpret.