Can Target Market over the Breach?

Updated: 12/23/2013 7:00 PM
Created: 12/23/2013 5:26 PM
By: Travis Dill

Target worked hard to pull customers into stores after the security breach announcement last week. A local marketing expert said Target is making progress, but failed to take charge of the situation from the start.

The Target security breach hit the news before the company could take charge of the financially frightening situation according to a local marketing expert.

“It will be an example of what not to do moving forward for large companies,” Mike Malone said.

Malone spent 5 years working at two local advertising agencies, and now works for Compudyne, a local information technology firm. He said Target's hesitation hurt them in a world running at the speed of social media.

“It took the about a day to fully respond to people, and in a world of social media, I mean you're talking, people expect an answer within an hour,” Malone said.

He said another problem is that millions of customers headed to the Target Facebook page looking for answers only to find promoted deals filling the feed.

“People wanted to hear about the breach and not about how you can buy this t-shirt for 50 percent off. So that really desensitized a lot of people,” Malone said.

Malone said after a rough few days Target started pushing fraud prevention tips on social media. He said the company made a big sacrifice to offer a discount to every customer that shopped the weekend before Christmas, one of the busiest of the year.

“The 10 percent discount is a big deal, especially when it's to everyone on any purchase. That's investing a lot of money to get people's trust back,” Malone said.

He said Target will likely lose millions of dollars, but the company is far from dire straits because of its huge retail presence.

“People will still shot there. I mean you can pretty much buy everything from there,” Malone said.

He said competitors were the big winners because this crisis hit just before last minute holiday shopping, but it should push Target to be more secure than ever.

In a statement released Monday, Target officials said the company is working with the Secret Service to investigate the security breach, but that means the company cannot share details on the incident.

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