Friday, February 17, 2012

Corporate Creepy!

This article on Target and marketing statistics is all kinds of creepy, but the goal I find perfectly reasonable and I'm ok with it. One of the comments said that the purpose of marketing was to make people buy things they don't need, but in a lot of cases it is to redirect the purchase of those things they don't need away from someone else.

A new mom may not need a baby crib at all, but there's a good chance she'll get one anyway, and so Target just wants to be the place she gets it. They aren't trying to change what she buys, just where she looks/buys it.

...doesn't make it not creepy:

About a year after Pole created his pregnancy-prediction model, a man walked into a Target outside Minneapolis and demanded to see the manager. He was clutching coupons that had been sent to his daughter, and he was angry, according to an employee who participated in the conversation.

“My daughter got this in the mail!” he said. “She’s still in high school, and you’re sending her coupons for baby clothes and cribs? Are you trying to encourage her to get pregnant?”

The manager didn’t have any idea what the man was talking about. He looked at the mailer. Sure enough, it was addressed to the man’s daughter and contained advertisements for maternity clothing, nursery furniture and pictures of smiling infants. The manager apologized and then called a few days later to apologize again.

On the phone, though, the father was somewhat abashed. “I had a talk with my daughter,” he said. “It turns out there’s been some activities in my house I haven’t been completely aware of. She’s due in August. I owe you an apology.”

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