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What Every Marketer Can Learn From Target

by Todd Terrell  |  
May 8, 2007
  |  9,216 views

Stop! Stop and think about one thing. Remember! Remember that house in the neighborhood that all of the kids loved to visit? Remember? It was the fun place where everyone wanted to "hang out." Think about it. I will come back to that house.

Target as a retail operation has the perfect name. It defined its target and hit the bullseye. I want to make it clear that I have no professional affiliation with Target, and never have had one. And I have no financial interest in Target whatsoever. But as a marketing professional, I do have personal and professional interest in Target. In fact, I am in awe of it.

Stop and Remember

Target made me stop and remember what marketing really is all about. Yes, I said, "stop," and "remember."

Stop? We are nonstop. We don't have time to stop. If we stop, our competition passes us! And remember what? We change buzzwords every other week. We are trying to just keep up. Who has time to look back to remember anything? No wonder we forget to "stop," and "remember" just what we are really trying to do.


I have never been privy to any of Target's strategy meetings or planning sessions. All I can do is daydream as to what went on. If I were a betting man, I would say that they "dumbed" it down to the basics. They decided to "keep it simple, stupid."

The Core and Beauty of Marketing Is Basic

In the chaos of all of Target's strategy meetings and planning sessions, someone at Target said, "Stop." And, he or she got everyone to remember that the core and beauty of marketing is basic. And that is something we marketing professionals consistently seem to lose sight of while juggling all of our marketing balls in our hectic circuses.


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Todd Terrell has over 20 years of marketing management experience in the environmental services, B2B, political, hospitality, retail, and manufacturing arenas.

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  • by Anna Schulze Wed Feb 20, 2008 via web

    This is an article about nothing. As a member of the "I love Target" club I was expecting to at least read something about how they turned their business around and what was the strategy involved in becoming a much-loved brand. No such luck here.

  • by Vijay Thu Apr 30, 2009 via web

    Thanks Anna, this was helpful to think about.

  • by Vijay Thu Apr 30, 2009 via web

    I mean Todd. Sorry.

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