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Target Marketing

Target Marketing



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Published by noemi

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Published by: noemi on Jan 08, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Target Marketing is Exploitative
As marketers increasingly develop marketing programs tailored to certain target marketsegments in Asia, some critics have denounced these efforts as exploitative. Examplesinclude marketing cigarettes and alcohol to less-educated Asians, and employing Asianwomen to clichéd stereotypes and depicting them inappropriately in ads. Others counter that targeting and positioning is critical to marketing in Asia and that these marketing programs are attempts to be relevant to specific consumer group.
Marketing to specific groups of consumers, or target marketing, is one of the mostimportant concepts in marketing.Marketers, through the ages, have identified who their customers are, and directedtheir efforts at influencing their buying decisions. That is their job.In the last 30 years though, marketers have begun to identify potential buyers basedon a number of factors, that make many people uncomfortable. Marketers now directpromotions at those of certain age groups, gender, race, marital status, genderpreferences, and just about any other category you can place people in.This makes many consumers and consumer advocates question the ethicality of these promotions:Is it fair to direct ads at children when they do not have the understanding and/orcapability to judge what is being presented to them?Is it fair to target ads at elderly, living on fixed incomes, with products that they maynot be able to afford?Should companies be allowed to develop products that are specifically targeted atethnic groups?My answer to each of these questions, except the first one, would definitely be, Yes.Why should a company be restricted from marketing a product to an independent,rationally thinking, adult?Don't I, as an adult, have the ability to determine for myself, with some exceptions,what I want to buy?Now, if there are issues of mental incapacity we have a whole separate issue toaddress.But, assuming that the consumer is able to make their own decisions; shouldn't I asa marketer be able to present information that will help the consumer decide that myproduct is what they want?
Is targeting of minorities exploitative? Yes, it certainly is. But, so is almost everyother kind of marketing. You are trying to exploit a need, a want and definitely a gapin a market that maybe has not been addressed.Prior to the 1960's most marketing ignored ethnic minority groups and concentratedon the vast buying power of larger demographic groups. An opportunity existed forcompanies to address a market, with significant buying power, that had not beenaddressed before. Is that inherently wrong? That is the way marketing works: Find agap, develop a plan to address the gap, and then market to that gap. That is soundbusiness practice. If companies do not take advantage of their opportunities they willfail.Now, none of what I have said above gives companies a free license to do whateverthey want, especially when it comes to my one, very absolute exception: Marketingto children and those who cannot be held accountable for their actions. Even as anadult, if I am not capable of making a choice as to the soundness of a buyingdecision, then I should not be subjected to marketing that may have unreasonableinfluence over me; And children are certainly not capable of making that decision.However, as an adult parent, I must assume some of the responsibility for buyingproducts that are marketed to children. I must educate my children about what isright and what is wrong; what is a want versus what is a need; what is affordableversus what is not.Companies who choose to direct their marketing efforts at specific market segmentshave a responsibility to consider the ethical implications of what they are doing.Socially responsible marketing calls for target marketing that serves not only thecompany's interests, but also the interests of those targeted and the public ingeneral.
Playboy head called 'coward' in marketing-to-kidsdust-up
Legislator's motion accuses adult magazine of aiming 'sexualizedmerchandise at children'
For a magazine that prides itself on showing just about everything, one thing it won'tbe showing next month is
.Christie Hefner, daughter of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and chairwoman and chief executive of Playboy Enterprises International, has refused an invitation to appearbefore the Scottish Parliament to give evidence to the equal opportunities committee
holding December hearings on "sexualized imagery and children" and to explain whyher company's bunny logo is used on products attractive to children.That has some lawmakers accusing her of cowardice, reports Scotland on Sunday.The planned hearings follow a number of recent incidents of leading UK stores sellingitems inappropriately aimed at children: Woolworth's "Lolita" bed for little girls, BHS'"Little Miss Naughty" underwear and Tesco's pole-dancing kits advertised on itswebsite's toy section.Playboy was drawn into the controversy in May by a spontaneous protest byYorkvicar, Father Tim Jones, who pulled down a display of pencil cases and notebooksbearing the bunny logo at a local stationary story."I told the assistant manager who was on duty at the till that I was going to belaunching a protest at the shop, and I went over to where the Playboy material wason the shelf alongside the Winnie The Pooh and Mickey Mouse material, and I startedtossing it on the floor away from where people were," Jones, 40, told the York Pressat the time.The minister also asked store patrons to sign a petition protesting "the intrusion of commercial brands such as Playboy into goods and services targeting children.""The long-term intention of this strategy is to encourage children to see the Playboybunny as a friendly child-appropriate brand, preparing them for early commercialacceptance of Playboy pornographic merchandise," Jones said."This constitutes a kind of 'institutional grooming' of children for their commercialexploitation by the powerful sex industry. This institutional grooming may be indirectbut it is not accidental. It is deliberate, intentional, cynical and wicked, and must beresisted."Playboy blamed the stationary story for the problem:"We were surprised to discover that Playboy stationery has been so inappropriatelypositioned. Playboy's target audience is 18 to 34-year-olds so we clearly did notauthorize, nor approve, the placement of our product next to such well-knownchildren's characters. Our licensee and its distributor were also unaware of thisplacement. We will be reviewing this situation immediately," a spokesman said.In September, 20 members of the Scottish Parliament offered a motion chargingPlayboy with "manipulative, dangerous and exploitative" practices to "targetsexualized merchandise at children.""Such morally corrupt marketing practices contribute to the desensitization of societyto pornography and the continuing inequality and exploitation of women," read themotion offered byElaine Smith MSP.In light of the much publicized protest by Jones and the action by the MSPs, ChristieHefner herself responded by letter, defending the company:

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