Target’s Thanksgiving Day marketing strategy

On our News last night I saw people talking about having to make the choice between getting together with family for a celebration meal, a meal of Thanksgiving and appreciation and fellowship, and going to the shops to take advantage of the special deals on offer.

The thrust of the interviews was that the big shopping chains should not open on Thanksgiving Day, and that they should not put such temptation in the way of people.

At the recent AMT conference I said that “Successful Marketing IS Spiritual Marketing” and that, as such, the marketing message is in alignment with company values and the marketing message is clear.

On this occasion, Target and the others are indeed reflecting the core value of that company, which is to make money for their shareholders.

And one way to do that, for sure, is to get more than their share of your Christmas spending this year.

Opening on Thanksgiving Day, a day when people have time to go out to the shops, and making headline-grabbing offers to ensure shoppers choose their shops, is good practice – if your core value is making money for your shareholders.

The thing is – that value is NOT accurately reflected in most of their other marketing messages, which are about different things like value, customer service etc.

So I think the reason for the backlash is confusion, mixed messages, lack of clarity.

Customers are thinking  – “Hey, is this company really so cuddly and friendly towards me?”

The reason that this marketing message, which makes perfect sense to the company, is NOT  being successful and is stirring up such controversy, is not because it does not reflect the values of the shops but because the rest of the time the message put out is what the shops want to customer to hear.

The resulting confusion is at the core of the backlash from people who are alert to these messages.

How did you feel seeing the Thanksgiving day shopping promotions?




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2 Responses to Target’s Thanksgiving Day marketing strategy

  1. Dar2drm4ever November 24, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

    I couldn’t agree more. The companies have made their priorities clear and it is up to us to determine what our values are. Depending on what they are, there should be no hesitation over how to spend time…be that in a store, with family and friends or both. I also recognize that not everyone is blessed with family or friends they can spend time with so maybe going to a store to be with others will give them something for which to be thankful. We will tell the stores if their desire to make money is something we value and shop early. Whatever choices people make, I wish them health, contentment, love and the ability to see the things for which the can give thanks. 

  2. Re-nata November 25, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    The people ho need less are the richest.

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