The fact that I wasn’t surprised in no way diminished my sadness at last week’s news that Target would pull out of Canada. Pundits have roundly analyzed what went wrong, with a lot of emphasis being placed on things like inventory and real estate. I think, though, that there was a bigger, over-arching theme to this misadventure: Target took us for granted. It seems inarguable to me that the fundamental problem was a misjudgment about what it would take to please Canadians, and that makes it a failure of marketing. There are those who think marketing isn’t important work, or that anybody can do it. As of last week, 17,600 soon-to-be-unemployed Canadians might beg to differ. If you’re interested, you can find my critique of their Canadian launch as it unfolded, here and here. Comments, as always, are most welcome.