Re-targeting needs re-thinking

I was moseying down the High Street this morning.  As I walked, I glanced in a florist’s window and then continued on my way.

After a few paces, a sales assistant popped out of said retailer and shouted after me: “Can I help you?!”

“No”, I said politely, although a bit taken aback.  “I was just looking.” And on I went.

Within seconds, I was conscious of somebody behind me, so I turned round.  It was the guy from the shop again.  “You sure?” he said.  “Are you really sure?”

“Er, yes.” I protested weakly and kept going, albeit quickening my pace.  But it was to no avail.  Because, as if from nowhere, the man was now standing in front of me, barring my path.  “I don’t believe you,” he said, brandishing a bouquet of roses.  “I saw the way you looked in my window.  You want some of these, don’t you?”

“No, really,” I said, this time quite firmly.  “You’re wasting your time.”

Brushing him aside, I jumped into a cab.  But as we took off, the driver turned round, to reveal himself as my nemesis.  “Don’t worry,” he said calmly.  “I already know where you live.  And if there’s one thing that would brighten up your house (terraced, late-Victorian, in an affluent area with good schools and low crime), it’s these flowers.”

Properly frightened by now, I jumped out of the moving taxi and ran home.  When I opened the door, I was relieved to see my wife.  Until I saw the roses in her hands.   And the bemused look on her face.

“We have a visitor”, she said.  At which point I leapt into the living room, to see this guy playing with my children.  “Ah, I was just telling your family all about you,” my stalker said.  “How you often buy flowers from us.  How you were looking at these roses.  And how I can give you a special price for your Anniversary next week.”

“Look, you maniac,” I shouted.  “I’m not interested in your flowers.  I may have been once but I certainly never will be now.”  And with that, I kicked him out of the door.

Except, of course, I didn’t.  Because it was only my iPad.  And it was furniture, not flowers.  But I still felt that way.

Because while a smart, human, intuitive contact strategy can help consumers as well as companies, a lot of re-targeting needs re-thinking.

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