View Full Version : Chatter Want to know what your daughter is REALLY doing out on dates? Look at the coupons!

02-16-2012, 02:42 PM
Here's a great article from the NYT:
"How Companies Learn Your Secrets"

Quoting from the article:

...But for pregnant women, Target’s goal was selling them baby items they didn’t even know they needed yet....

Target can buy data about your ethnicity, job history, the magazines you read, if you’ve ever declared bankruptcy or got divorced, the year you bought (or lost) your house, where you went to college, what kinds of topics you talk about online, whether you prefer certain brands of coffee, paper towels, cereal or applesauce, your political leanings, reading habits, charitable giving... number of cars you own.....

The list goes on.

Good luck.

02-16-2012, 03:21 PM
When hounded for my ZIP code, I usually give the one found as the first 5 digits of a upc on an item I am purchasing.
Also every time I am offered a store savers card, I sign up again, with another alias.
So far I have 9 K-Mart cards. They are all on the same keyring so that is fun when handed to a clerk.

All jesting aside, the best use of the grocery chain cards, is that the FDA has used data from them to track food borne illnesses to determine the source of the contamination.

02-16-2012, 04:22 PM
"Want to know what your daughter is REALLY doing out on dates? Look at the coupons! "

Oh, man! this is going too far! DW & I never needed coupons for kissing on a date! What IS the world coming to?


02-16-2012, 04:30 PM
Actually they get point of sale data from stores for *all* customers. I think it is the CDC. They look for increased sales of certain over-the-counter cold/flu medicines. Then know there is something going around in a certain area (if sales of those items increase). Then they can alert local health officials.

As for that story above, that is very well written and detailed. Many companies keep all this research (which can cost millions) to themselves. Pretty rare to be able to read about it!

If you are selling anything, I would advise you to read the entire story. It is amazing what companies do to try to increase sales. They find out exactly why something is selling or not selling, try different colors on packages, interview customers in "focus groups", and all sorts of stuff!

FYI - Monitoring Over-The-Counter Medication Sales for Early Detection of Disease Outbreaks...