Sunday, May 23, 2010

Marketing & TTC

Several months ago, in a moment of frustration, I posted the following on my other, non-IF blog:

Dear Fac.ebo.ok, I am not a mom. I don't know why you think I am a mom, when my profile lists no children, and I have never mentioned children to anyone, in any fashion, on your site. Given that I'm not a mom, I am not interested in meeting other moms, winning free diapers, learning about local Montessori schools, or hearing about the government paying moms to go back to school. Figure out a better way to market to your target audience. Maybe you should start with women who actually have children. . . just a thought.

Following this post, an online friend of mine with marketing experience who read the post explained that the ads we see on websites such as Fac.ebo.ok or Go.og.le are targeted based on keywords. So while it is clear on my Fac.ebo.ok profile that I do not have children and should be even more obvious to Go.og.le that I am childless (since my reader is full of infertility blogs and I write about my own infertility here), the fact of the matter is, the words "baby," "mother," "child," "pregnancy," etc., show up a lot in my searches and in my writings.

OK, I get it. These are computers determining who gets which ads. Not a lot of actual "decision-making" is involved.

This latest direct marketing takes the cake, though. Yesterday this flyer arrived in my mailbox:

(The first part of the flat mailer, which I cut off in the photo in order to focus on the language regarding the product being promoted, details the history of different types of birth control, including the pill and the rubber condom.)

In my opinion, this marketing approach is a risky one. On what basis did someone conclude that "[our] family is complete"? We don't even have ONE child, let alone so many children, or children of such an age, that our "choice is clear." And anyway, who decides how many children is "enough"?

I haven't even used birth control in over two years! That alone might tip someone off that (A) I am still trying to build my family, (B) I am infertile, and/or (C) I am definitely not preventing pregnancy. I have also ordered a number of products to "increase fertility" over the past two years, and you might think that this shopping behavior would also tip off a savvy marketer.

Did I receive this because of my age? Did some great marketing mind somewhere determine that a 39-year-old woman like me is more likely than not done with child bearing and ready for permanent sterilization? If so, I'd like to refer that person to some of the blogs I read. . . . I know many women (online) even over 40 who are still TTC, sometimes TTC their first child.

I suppose sending these to all women "of a certain age" is a fairly low-risk proposition for the company promoting Women like me who don't have any desire or need for their product will just toss it in the trash. Women who would be interested might learn about something they didn't know about before receiving it.

What a slap in the face! I know I shouldn't take this personally, but it's hard not to when it came addressed to me, by name, not to "Resident" or "Occupant".

Another reason to hate corporate America. . . . .


  1. I got one of those yesterday too! I wanted to scream. I was going to blog about it, but didn't get to it yet. I didn't throw it away with the rest of the junk mail- it is just sitting on the table making me fume every time I see it. Let's see... the LAST thing I need is "permanent" Birth Control... I might already have that naturally! Sorry for the rant, I just feel the same way!

  2. I got diapers on Saturday...Yes, a flipping diaper. When I was in my husbands car this morning, I noticed he had a pile of junk mail he has collected the past week from when it's his turn to check the post office..
    Boy am I glad I checked it! imagine if I would have missed the deal they sent me on baby formula!

    I guess they know that I like to diaper my dog, and force feed him baby formula...ugh =]

  3. I hear ya! The company that makes the prenatal vitamins I have took it upon themselves to send me a "fertility journal." ARGH! I should have turned it into an INfertility journal to document the various drugs I pumped into my body. Maybe now I should turn it into an adoption journal to document all the hoops we have to jump through to get "approved" to be parents...



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