Doc Searls wrote an article for Linux Journal titled Linux vs Bullshit. Towards the end of the article he writes about how Trader Joe’s avoids the bullshit.
« How much good is all this data collection and manipulation actually doing for its perpetrators? And how much are they also bullshitting themselves? »
« When I was doing research for The Intention Economy, the most important input I got came from Doug Rauch, the retired president of Trader Joe’s. One big reason for Trader Joe’s success…it minimizes marketing bullshit. It has no loyalty program, no coupons, no discounts and none of the expenses any of those involve, including the cost of running a big data mill. »
« Doug’s job as president of the company, he said, was to shop along with customers. Talking in person, in stores, with customers, was his main form of research. »
« Trader Joe’s also doesn’t go to retailing tradeshows, Doug told me, because too much of what goes on at those things is all about manipulating the customer. These manipulations are highly complex and therefore come at high costs to the stores as well. By avoiding this kind of thing, Trader Joe’s spares itself the cognitive overhead required to rationalize complicating the living shit out of everything, which is what marketing tends to do—and does now, more than ever, with Big Data. Thanks to Big Data and the perceived need to run big complex marketing mills, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)—a title that didn’t exist twenty years ago—runs an overhead-fattening operation that can dwarf the old IT budget. »
« Meanwhile, only a tiny percentage of the output of these mills is actually useful to us. »