Why reading and writing is the road to happiness...

This blog started years ago as a place to muse on the life projects keeping me entertained. It is no surprise then that it has morphed into a blog about my reading as that has been my lifelong project. Here I review lots of different types of books, with an added focus on Australian women writers. Hope you enjoy - feel free to contribute to the conversation!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Common Sense Means Increased Cents

We could talk at length about the topic of marketing kids clothing in a prematurely sexualised fashion but that's not the issue that piqued my interest today regarding the news that a Facebook user's criticism of Target's kids' clothing went viral (http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/fashion/storm-over-targets-trampy-fashion-sense-20120813-244xz.html) What interested me was the deathly slow response Target had in quelling the issue: more than 24 hours after the comment was posted. And in the social media world - that's like a lifetime. Target have now posted an email with an apology for any offense caused by their marketing and asked the individual who made the complaint to discuss offline her problem with the clothing products. This was after 44 000 'likes' on the comment spiralled the issue out of control and 2300 comments agreed whole heartedly with the concerned consumer...and this was after Target was hit with the sort of negative national press that I'm sure it would rather not receive.
Social media is fast. Social media is pithy. And social media users become bored with a story really quickly, especially if an issue is quelled quietly, and on the spot before a flame of interest can be ignited. If retailers are to use social media (and let's face it, they're all having a crack now), they need to employ staff who understand how to manage their online marketing, and empower those individuals to deal with matters professionally and efficiently. It doesn't take a genius to guess that if you have a Facebook page that invites commentary from the public, you are bound to have complaints come your way - did Target not have some sort of procedure in place for responding to any complaint immediately with a pat line composed by the marketing team? It's my bet that some poor sap running the website had to send the email up through the hierarchy to think about whether the issue was worth responding to - and then had to wait for the big wigs to give him/her the authority to send an apology email. But - alas, the horse had bolted and the news websites and tv programmes had already grabbed the story and run with it...
All it takes is a bit of common sense to deal with customer complaints, but like a churlish old woman, I rather fear that common sense is disappearing from this world. And like a churlish old woman I think it best not to delve into the argument that kids' clothing is becoming too sexualised... Toddlers and Tiaras anyone?

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