The Use of Technology – Targeting or the Targeted

We can’t be all things to all people. The market place is large and while it would be good for business to provide a suitable product and/or service to all people, we know that it is not possible for most businesses to market a product across all sectors of the market.

The preferred tool for determining where to put the marketing effort is the SWOT analysis. The Strengths and Weaknesses relate to the business while the Opportunities and Threats relate to the market segment.

However there is another emerging tool becoming increasingly used in today’s market that is changing the way that businesses approach their customers. The new tool is encompassed in technology (internet, smart phones, and data tracking).

Is this technology helping business keep in contact with their customers’ needs/wants?

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Some supermarkets are using loyalty programs to understand customers shopping habits in an effort to customise their marketing programs specifically for the customer. This would appear to only be of benefit if the customer bought all of their products from the one supermarket chain.

Customers are also using technology to their best advantage as well with smart phone technology and the use of Apps enabling a customer to be in one supermarket while using their smart phone to compare pricing of a similar product at a competitor supermarket.

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This enables some customers to buy certain products at one supermarket and other products from a different supermarket. This in some way does not give the supermarket a true understanding of all the products that a customer uses only those products that are purchased in that supermarket.

Some UK supermarkets now contribute to a website where consumers can compare similar products across the different companies for the best pricing. This appears to be very transparent however are the products being compared similar?

The use of technology appears to be a more transparent way of doing business and it would seem that businesses would need to embrace many different ways of understanding customers or risk being left behind.


6 thoughts on “The Use of Technology – Targeting or the Targeted

  1. I find it very interesting how supermarkets are now incorporating virtual shelves. Even Melbourne has followed this trend originating in Asia.

    The virtual supermarkets in Korea have realistic images of the products displayed on the subway station walls. Customers can purchase a product simply by scanning the code on their smartphone, making payment and waiting for the items to be delivered to their home shortly after they arrive home that day. Pretty amazing!


  2. I think having customers involved in a loyalty program is smart for supermarkets and consumers alike. I find with my Flybuys membership, Coles monitors my spending habits and sends me weekly emails on my frequently bought products if they’re on specials, which I really appreciate. With most of supermarket products being low involvement, low risk, inexpensive items, I rather not spend my time comparing products between supermarkets and driving between two places to save $2 and by doing my shopping in the one place – even if it is purely for the sake of collecting Flybuy points – I find that it pays off. For instance, last Christmas I was able to convert my points into more than $100 off my purchases and that was a great saving and I was quite happy with the way their loyalty points can be spent. Therefore I think it depends on individual preferences and spending habits and also the benefits of the loyalty program. If the company is only paying back one a 100,000 points are collected for a one way ticket to Sydney from Melbourne.. I would probably not stick with that company.
    Also thanks for sharing the links on the previous 2 comments. Very interesting facts. I’ve watched the vertical shopping clip before but didn’t know that they use it in Sydney. Would love to give that a go for the experience..something new!


  3. I agree with anawarat’s comments: loyalty programs such as Everyday Rewards cards and Coles Flybuys are a clever idea from Woolworth and Coles to make their customers loyal to shop with them. Especially with Flybuys, you can get lots of benefits by joining their programs. What I found that is very beneficial is you get a point for every dollar you spend at Coles and when you have 2000points you can get $10 off. People will try to shop at Coles to collect the points and sometimes Coles also helps you to collect the points, they will have program “double the points” if you shop between certain times or even you can get 1000 bonus point if you join their customer feedback. These programs will encourage people to shop at Coles and use the most benefits they can get.
    If you have not shopped with them for a while they will know and they will try to attract you back by giving certain bonus.
    Talking about virtual shopping experience, Mondelez International has just recently launched “Virtual Assistant” to enhance the interaction with customers.


  4. I think loyalty programs have reached saturation and for many people there is some fatigue. I have a wad of cards in my car with a bulldog clip attached to them and I cannot say that any of them motivate me to be particularly loyal to any one company.

    The reason being that the rewards offered are less than savings that can be made by being a consumer that shops around. For example Aldi continues to take market share off both Coles an Woolworths despite not having a loyalty card. The reason is that people perceive that they will save more money at Aldi than at Woolworths and Coles. Consequently we are witnessing Coles and Woolworths responding to this threat through discounting there product lines.

    Simple loyalty reward though are effective for example coffee club programs do provide an incentive for consumers to return to the same outlet to buy their coffee although most carry several coffee cards in their wallets.

    The technology is a source of gathering data particularly on purchasing trends and quantities of items purchased. I think the Myer Card must be very successful in achieving this aim


  5. It used to be that supermarkets were the ones using technology to target consumer groups, to track their spending and preferences. Now consumers are joining in on the act, with the advent of smart phones and the internet- it has become easy to compare prices from different supermarkets.

    How do businesses stay ahead? What new methods can they use to retain consumers?

    Price matching strategies have been employed by some supermarkets to match the pricing strategies of their competitors, however clients cannot compare the quality of different products over apps or the internet and new ways of exploiting the internet in that regard will have to be devised.


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