Saturday, December 1, 2007

Like, keep it "like a secret"

Target has recently come under fire for some suspect marketing practices (see article here). Specifically, Target started a group of volunteer consumer advocates, the Target Rounders. These advocates would be tasked with peer to peer marketing of Target, with the promised compensation of various Target goods. In what looks to be an episode of managerial oversight, Target released a communication to these Rounders, essentially telling them to keep their association with Target "like a secret."

These disingenuous marketing practices are dangerous, especially when it comes to Generation Y, a group of individuals who live and breathe TRANSPARENCY. They're advertising their social footprint on Myspace and Facebook and baring their souls on their blogs. And, they expect companies (and political figures) to be as upfront about their practices as they individually are with their personal lives.

While programs like Target Rounders seem to be a great way to reach consumers in a media-fragmented, over-communicated marketplace, companies need to heed the caution of being honest and open with their consumers.