Saturday, February 27, 2016

Targeted deals

I used to explain to people that the point of your [fill in store name here] club card was not to necessarily do you any favours, but to accurately track your buying habits, for their own purposes.

Those purposes include monitoring whether sales promotions work, noticing which brands you buy, analyzing the results of store layout methods, etc.

Well, we received an example of such tracking and resulting targeted advertising. Safeway often sends us a booklet of coupons that earn us extra Air Miles if we buy certain products. Usually, we have nothing to compare our booklet to, but this time we did.

Our booklet contained almost exclusively either products we usually buy or at least brands we usually buy, nothing more. But a look at this other person's booklet revealed that their coupons were specifically targeted to their buying habits as well. None of their coupons would have benefited us in any way and vice versa. Not only that, but they were able to earn bonus Air Miles spending far less money than the coupons we got.

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