Last night I ran down to do a quick interview with Fox 26 about an article that appeared in the New York Time this week about coupons.
It was about a father who was furious that Target was sending his teenage daughter coupons for baby items. He felt like they were encouraging her to have a baby. Turns out she was already pregnant and Target knew this because of the items she was buying.
But that is a really small part of the actual article, which is REALLY fascinating! It talks about the researcher that Target hired to do the equations to figure out human behavior and what people buy as a result of lifestyle changes and habit.
You can read the article HERE. I suggest reading it, it is VERY interesting!
The article says Target tries to assign each customer a unique ID, since they do not have a store “loyalty” card, I am assuming that this has to be done through your debit or credit card. When you swipe it they must be assigning a number to that card and tracking what you buy in order to send you coupons and offers to get you back in the store.
The desire to collect information on customers is not new for Target or any other large retailer, of course. For decades, Target has collected vast amounts of data on every person who regularly walks into one of its stores. Whenever possible, Target assigns each shopper a unique code — known internally as the Guest ID number — that keeps tabs on everything they buy. “If you use a credit card or a coupon, or ?ll out a survey, or mail in a refund, or call the customer help line, or open an e-mail we’ve sent you or visit our Web site, we’ll record it and link it to your Guest ID,” Pole said. “We want to know everything we can.”
I have 2 questions about collecting data:
- Is this if you have a Target debit or credit? Does it state this when you sign up for that card?
- If they are able to do this on MY NOT Target debit card, how are they getting my address to send me coupons? Is my bank giving them this info? I can’t remember that in anything when I signed up for my debit card.
I do not have a problem with Grocery stores tracking what I buy. I knew that was part of getting a Kroger, CVS or Randalls card. I am exchanging that information for the discount that I want at the store. What concerns me is that Target is able to do that without a store loyalty card, and to a teenager.
It is freaky to get coupons in the mail for things that YOU personally need. Do you ever think about that? How did they know that I like that brand of ice cream?
“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.” From the Article.
What do you think?
P.S. Did you just see yesterday that Google was getting all your personal information off your iPhones?