Cue the Woo Woo Music

You know, woo woo music as in the Twilight Zone theme song or such.  The computer’s efficiency was bound to reach this point and you can bet it will get better and better.  Yesterday, after picking up the mail, there was an envelope from Kroger.  I received an envelope previously from them, but it was junk and tossed into the recycling box.

But this envelope made the hairs on my neck stand up and salute.  It was filled with offers for either free or discounted products that I have previously bought.  I can’t figure out the angle.  Free things tend to cost me extra money or at least that’s my experience.  But back on point.  Yes, I know my address is a matter of public record so it’s no surprise that I receive mail from them; however, the coupons were a surprise.  I know that supermarkets keep records of what people buy for inventory purposes.  I didn’t realize that they have improved the program to target buyers and send them coupons for those previously purchased items.

It goes even further than that since I was also targeted by insurance companies when Medicare time was approaching.  AARP has been trying to communicate with me for years, but since I won’t respond they have just about given up.  Junk mail used to be very random and 1,000 pieces of mail would be mailed out with the hope of getting a ten percent return on that small investment.  Out of that ten percent, or 100 people, you hoped to actually talk with ten responders, and make a sale to at least one of the ten.

The odds are probably much higher now since mailers can be so targeted so specifically.  Junk mail is now an art form.  Computers, along with upgraded printers, have enabled everyone to make professional looking mailouts.  But it’s really scary that there is so much information out there.  Big Brother is evident more and more.   While writing this post, I received an e-mail with the photo shown below of an advertisement mailed in 1928.  Perhaps, it is true that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

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2 Responses to Cue the Woo Woo Music

  1. Leo says:

    About 12 year ago I read about programs like that being started where they would be able to keep track of your purchases. Then they could specifically identify incentives that are unique to you and that would entice you to come to their store.

    I have not really seen it employed, but am impressed that Kroger is trying this system.

  2. Doris says:

    I surely hope they have refined their market targeting techniques in the last 20 years. After I had surgery done by an OB/GYN, I started getting all kinds of baby catalogs and congratulations on my new baby! I just ignored them, but can you imagine the distress they could have caused someone in circumstances different from mine?

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