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Back to School, Facebook style

August 25, 2007

Two giant retailers have recently launched promos on Facebook, targeted at the mega dollars being spent by the back to school crowd.

 Target’s was the first one that hit my page.  (At this point, anyone who knows me is groaning or rolling their eyes because I am talking about Target yet again.  Hush.)  Called “Carry Target in Your Pocket”, this application promised to provide dorm shopping lists and “morale boosts” sent right to a mobile phone.  It was short, quick, and seemed like a neat idea.  Not being a college student or having one in my family, I didn’t test it out, but it seemed to serve a need. Anything that can simplify my Target experience is welcome in my world.

Walmart recently jumped in the frey as well.  Here’s an article that talks about their efforts to help students furnish their dorm rooms.  You take a quiz along with your roommate(s), and it tells you what it thinks your compatible decorating style would be.  Surely, this style is compatible with and can be purchased at Walmart. 

Computerworld claims that the Walmart effort is failing because most of the comments on the site are not about decorating but the typical “Walmart sucks” comments.

Facebook users are probably more suited to shop at Target than at Walmart, but that doesn’t mean Walmart failed here. Any marketing efforts at Facebook or any other social networking spot are experiments right now. I think they deserve credit for trying something that it at least real, unlike their recent PR debacle with the bloggers claiming to be Walmart employees. This is a step in the right direction, and hopefully they and other marketers following this experiment can learn something from it.

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