Posted by: prataap | January 20, 2008

CUSTOMIZATION TREND 4: So Long Marketing: I Demand!


SO LONG MARKETING

I Demand!

Making It Happen, In Real Time

Emerging Trends:

The days of marketing as a means of creating demand for an existing product are rapidly sailing into uncharted waters. This has major implications for advertising, PR, media, PDA formats, and the consumer as billboard. While you will get personalized marketing of products suited to who you are and your tastes, in return you will have to opt to be a walking billboard for the product…OK not a billboard, for now just a sign on your car or perhaps text messages or ringing on your blackberry or your cell phone every time you pass a store selling products from “your products” list.. Deal or no deal ? Your call. Sign up.

Consumer demand has become a highly volatile and unpredictable commodity. The market has responded by simultaneous release of multiple  overlapping technologies, for example, music down loaders, web phones, appliance based computing, real time video on cell phones and computers.  And in other areas there are the ubiquitous infomercials in elevators and at gas pumps, and coupons at the check out line based on your buying patterns.  All have made the lag tag time required for marketing based on conventional models of supply of products and on demand increasingly difficult to pull off. What does this mean? 

For one, we will constantly get information on what is available NOW! On elevators (already here), pop up ads on the PC/PDF screen, and next on subway tunnel walls visible from the train as it zips out of Harvard Square subway station in Cambridge, MA, and shrink wrapped cars with personalized messages or logos. It will make information overload a major source of stress compared to today. But on the other hand, increasingly more refined forms of targeted advertising and gathering of selective information through “cookies” and “bots” will make it easy to get what you want, when you want it, at the best price, and mostly for free to the end user. It’s already available.

Next Opportunities:

Already, using “cookies,” and recording surfing habits, companies can get a precise profile of your interests, and personal information. And at the user’s end, “bots”, future virtual assistants, programs that will put virtual robots at your service. A bot will get you the precise information that you want, when you want it. Ask for the names of local dealers with red 2008 Toyota Corollas for under $20,000, and you can have it with a map, a picture and profile of the best dealership and salesman suited to you. Not by distance and price alone, but also by negotiating style.  Next stage will be bots that will learn to negotiate the best deal for you. And in the future, there will be bots that can sense what you want next based on your preferences and patterns and have it read for you. So what are the real opportunities you ask? Axe your conventional marketing ad budget and think radically about how to get the message to the precise persons you want to reach. On one hand laser precise marketing is where we are already headed. Branding has been the key marketing concept for at least the last decade, and will evolve in altogether new ways that are slowly emerging.  People as brands will become more commonplace. Tom Peters ” Brand You 50″ has been the new management training bible on this topic. Stand out of the pack by defining what your product and business stands for.  It better be a combination of innovation, reliability, and service.

Even CEOs (top CEOs are the scarcest commodities today) are being marketed based on their “brand”. Lawrence Ellison Oracle Corp was named the CEO brand of 1999 by Marketing Computer magazine for his “fearless creativity.”  Sports figures like Michael Jordan have been brands for a while.  Branding has been around but it will radically shift the advertising paradigm when everyone is a recognizable combination of brands or a brand apart.  

The key will be, leaving the power to tailor the brand in the hands of the end user.

This form of end user based marketing is also where simple web sites, and successful portals like Google and Dogpile.com part ways. While web sites give you information, next generation search engines will search out the information based not only on the specific information you are looking for, but will find you the sites that are the best designed, easiest to read, and to your personal aesthetic taste. Expect aesthetics and design to play a much bigger part on the net as web sites and search engines jockey to ease the interface.  Same will be true of everyday life, just as after the industrial revolution new technologies gave rise to new design possibilities. Watch for fiber optic fabrics that turn your T-shirt, your car, your home, your building into a billboard. Online retailers like Karma.com will cash in on micro trends, marketing to the celebrities and the ones in the know looking for the handcrafted hip hop or other niche look. These micro trends will succeed, adapt and morph, or fail. The moment they go mainstream they lose their cache and die.  

Buildings too will sell themselves to you. Times Square is a crude form of what is to come. Building exteriors will talk to your PDA, tell you their history, give you directions, or provide product information, depending on what you want.  Embedded marketing will be everywhere to be accessed by your cell or next generation PDA, or your clothes!

Most of all, as our electronic personal assistants (PDAs/cell phones etc) web browsers become all in one, ease of use will be key. And that’s where design will be king.  “Keep it clean. Keep it simple.” will be the mantra for the techno aesthetics. Wonder why i-phones caught on?…it’s Steve’s job to make the complex look and feel intuitive and simple.

Let your imagination run wild.

Create the future and smell the roses, it’s your move!

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