In my book I speak out about the myth of target marketing – brands largely compete as sophisticated mass marketers. Whereas I note that the latest Kotler textbook on the Australian market (Marketing 8th edition, Kotler, Brown, Burton, Deans and Armstrong 2010) recommends targeted marketing – and that “The ultimate form of target marketing is customised marketing in which the company adapts its product and marketing program to the needs of a specific customer or buying organisation. So, Adidas allows people to order shoes customised to their foot size, and ANZ allows people to personalise their credit card with a photo of their choice.” (page 264)
What nonsense. This isn’t ultra targeting, it isn’t even targeting! Both Adidas and ANZ aim for the entire market, they are mass marketers. Yes they add in a bit of customisation at the last moment for those that want it, but this doesn’t change anything, it doesn’t affect their media buy, nor how they strive to gain distribution etc.
Most marketers add in a bit of last minute customisation – “would you like a bag ? do you want that gift wrapped ? do you want to pay cash or credit card ?” This isn’t “the ultimate form of target marketing”.
This textbook shows how target marketing is taught as unthinking gospel. And academics complain that students don’t think!