This is the fifth in Baynote’s ten-part series of cartoons by award-winning cartoonist Tom Fishburne, titled Intent to Buy”. We’ve received some great feedback from you on our cartoons, so please continue to let us know what you think! To say thanks for your input, we’ll send you a print signed by Tom if you post a comment within one week (U.S. addresses only).

Check out the complete series.

In life, there is only one constant: that nothing remains the same. As anyone who had a perm in the 80s will tell you, that can be a very, very good thing. But what happens when retailers fail to take these life changes into account when providing personalized offers to their shoppers?

As Tom Fishburne’s latest cartoon illustrates, personalizing e-mail offers based on old data is a surefire way to ensure they end up in the diaper pail. And sometimes, as confirmed by this bachelor who’s apparently given up one heck of a lifestyle in favor of burp cloths and domestic bliss would surely tell you, it can be downright cruel.

If you want to get the most return on your deals (who wouldn’t?), start first by working to discover clues about your audience’s in-the-moment needs, and then targeting your offers from there. This guy surely would be responding better to that approach, and all bets are on that you would, too.