At a Target outside Minneapolis an irate father of a teenage girl approached the store manager, thrusting a coupon book at him. He complained that the retailer was sending coupons for cribs and baby clothes, encouraging his high school age daughter to get pregnant. The manager apologized on the spot, then called a few days later to follow up and apologize again. When he did, the father apologized – it turns out his daughter actually was pregnant, but hadn’t told him yet.
So how did Target know before the soon-to-be Grandfather? His daughter’s buying habits had shifted and matched those of other pregnant customers – even though she wasn’t yet stocking up on explicitly baby items like diapers and formula. The buying pattern labeled her as likely to be pregnant, triggering the coupons. Read the entire article and learn how they did it over at Forbes.
What does this mean to you as a consumer? You have probably been aware for some time that retailers were tracking your behavior and maybe even targeting offers. Those of us here in Rochester know that Wegmans does an excellent job of this through your shoppers club card. The level of data analysis being done in this instance by Target hasn’t been exposed before.
What do you think? Is this level of targeted offers helpful or creepy? Would you be impressed or turned off if you were this girl or her Dad?