Friday, February 17, 2012

Target: Your Big Brother?

How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did

(skipping to the middle of the article):

What Target discovered fairly quickly is that it creeped people out that the company knew about their pregnancies in advance.

“If we send someone a catalog and say, ‘Congratulations on your first child!’ and they’ve never told us they’re pregnant, that’s going to make some people uncomfortable,” Pole told me. “We are very conservative about compliance with all privacy laws. But even if you’re following the law, you can do things where people get queasy.

So Target got sneakier about sending the coupons.

“Then we started mixing in all these ads for things we knew pregnant women would never buy, so the baby ads looked random. We’d put an ad for a lawn mower next to diapers. We’d put a coupon for wineglasses next to infant clothes. That way, it looked like all the products were chosen by chance.

“And we found out that as long as a pregnant woman thinks she hasn’t been spied on, she’ll use the coupons. She just assumes that everyone else on her block got the same mailer for diapers and cribs. As long as we don’t spook her, it works.”

Read the whole article here.



A Mama's Story said...

I had to read that twice to make sure I'd read it correctly! Double YIKES!

Robin said...

I read the whole story. Eww..seriously thinking we need to do more cash transactions.

Kelly said...

Yes, if we want more privacy, cash is the way to go.

Otherwise, I love it. That's good analysis...and good meeting-of-customers'-needs.