Target practice: Is Target intentionally making security difficult?

0

Is Target intentionally making security difficult - a marketer's perspective on Target’s data leakA marketer’s perspective on Target’s data leak. The marketing department at Target would love to make it appear that they are trying to help. Take a closer look and you will see that may not be the case…

Hopefully you are familiar with Target’s data breach and the loss of millions of consumers credit card data and the associated PIN data. A corporate financial data leak of all credit cards that have been used at their store. New information from the secret service has informed us that the time frame is not as Target initially told the public, physician it has been going on for quite some time now.

Recent emails from Target have been poorly sent and not clear to customers if they are official emails. As a marketer, advice I think Target should be embarrassed to send emails that are not clearly scam free.

Email from Target regarding their financial data leak.

Email from Target regarding their financial data leak.

One such issue can be seen in the email that I and thousands of others received from Target. It took me considerable time to confirm it was real. Since it didn’t come from a “Target.com” but from “[email protected]“ As you know, a telling sign for most fraudulent emails is that they add on to the domain name. Another problem is the long length, small font and hidden website.

Email should always have a clear “call to action.”  Any experienced email marketer knows the importance of drafting emails that are likely going to be read. Basic email rules are:

  • Keep it short.
  • Create a hyper link so people can quickly go where you direct them.
  • Design an appealing look that draws people to the outcome you want.
  • Keep it simple. The more steps, the less likely someone will complete.

Based on the complexity of this email, one is left assuming Target doesn’t want people to actually sign up for ProtectMyID. Presumably because it costs Target to offer the service, since Target often sends sales emails that have clear purchasing call to action complete with links to their website, large font and short messages. The email failure seems to be narrowly restricted to emails surrounding their financial security issues.

It is as if they are making it intentionally difficult. 

The difficulty doesn’t end with the email. The link in the email doesn’t take you to the website, it takes you to a Target website.  The link to get a code that would then take you to Experian’s site is an additional step that will take you more waiting and steps. This also lowers the percentage of people who will complete the task.

Multiple steps lower the chances that an individual will complete all the steps required.

Multiple steps lower the chances that an individual will complete all the steps required.

If Target was truly concerned for their customers they would:

  • Commit to no longer hold financial data of individuals who are not current customers.
  • Provide significant information to customers on how they can protect themselves post data breach. (for example- how to order a free credit report and score from the TransUnion, Experion & Equifax)
  • Send communication that exemplifies good security practices to be an example of what consumers can trust.

————————-

What are your thoughts on Target’s actions post their financial data leak?

Valerie Marie Uhlir

Valerie Marie Uhlir

Director of Marketing at Ethereal Innovations
Valerie Uhlir is Director of Marketing with Ethereal Innovations, where she advises businesses on marketing issues affecting revenue, growth and retention. Valerie helps companies tell great stories. Stories that increase sales, engage employees and inspire brand influencers. Valerie is on a mission to rescue companies from boring, lifeless, fact spewing marketing communications by becoming more personable and fun. She loves all things relating to leadership and understanding team dynamics. Tweet her @VeryValerie.
Valerie Marie Uhlir
Valerie Marie Uhlir
Share.

About Author

Valerie Uhlir is Director of Marketing with Ethereal Innovations, where she advises businesses on marketing issues affecting revenue, growth and retention. Valerie helps companies tell great stories. Stories that increase sales, engage employees and inspire brand influencers. Valerie is on a mission to rescue companies from boring, lifeless, fact spewing marketing communications by becoming more personable and fun. She loves all things relating to leadership and understanding team dynamics. Tweet her @VeryValerie.

Comments are closed.