Alternative marketing thinking


Archive for the category “Gadgets”

Advertising. Not Like the Music Industry.

There have been many stories in the media in the last few weeks about the decay of advertising. There was this long one about The Future of Advertising in Fast Company. BusinessWeek countered it with this one on how Big Dumb Agencies may not be going away anywhere soon. The most provocative one, however was by Adaptive Path’s Peter Merholz. It was a brutal piece, one that tore apart our business as one with a “poisonous core”. While there has been a lot of debate and discussion around the post – in fact Peter has posted a rejoinder explaining various points on his original one, I thought the last item on his first rant to be a bit off key.  Advertising Agencies are the New Music Industry, he wrote.

I am not sure if the music industry analogy is the right one for the advertising business. While just like the music business, traditional advertising is being run over by the arrival of the Internet and other digital mediums, unlike the music industry, which went down primarily because of the growth of file sharing, I think advertising will evolve thanks to a combination of many smaller changes.

Search Marketing. While Google and others in the search marketing business are seeing exceptional growth, search marketing alone will not end advertising as we know it.

Social Media. Yes it is hot at the moment and will be extremely important in the years to come. Social media engagement will be one of the many things that marketers will need to help manage a brand.

PR. For years PR was a discipline that marketing had little influence over. Bougsky’s allegedly famous quote “…write me the press release” aptly describes how PR has become an important mover of marketing messages. Recently Pepsi’s Shiv Singh tweeted about wanting a partner who was a combination of a digital agency, a traditional agency and a PR company.

Video. BMW films showed us what can be done when branded messages are played out in digital media. There have been many experiments that have followed. The age of video, though, is just beginning to play out.

Mobile. Mobile devices will have as much or more impact on the marketing business as computers, TV and radio have had in the past. Always connected, always on phones are a tsunami that will change traditional messaging, but will need to do more to completely annihilate brand messages.

Location Based Services. These new and emerging concepts will add another dimension to real-time marketing. There are some simple and straight forward “Minority Report” kind of possibilities that location based messaging can do. These concepts will evolve and amaze us in the years to come.

Reality Enhanced. Ideas like augmented reality are just being experimented with at the moment. There will be more we will do by overlaying smart digital ideas over real things in the future.

Gaming. In an attention starved world, inventive new branded or brand embedded  games will give marketers access into the minds of people.

Crowdsourcing. Not so much a concept as much as an approach to producing ideas. Crowdsourcing will chip away advertising agency strongholds and change advertising in many ways.

Amazement. For decades, advertising had this knack of creating jaw-dropping moments. Not anymore. Anyone with a digital camera can now. Ads now have to fight even harder to be seen and talked about.

Marketers, marketing messages and the ones who create them, advertising agencies, will have to change to stay in touch with people who have lot more to do. The reason for this change will be many. All of them equally relevant.


Designing For The Mobile Web

One of the biggest challenges that web companies will need to brace for is the coming mobile web. Websites will have to be smaller, cleaner, load faster and easy to navigate. While Apple and Adobe have collaborated long and hard on design and word processing platforms, Flash the chosen motion add-on for the web, is still not available on the iPhone. So designers will have to think up new ways to deliver visually enhanced experiences on the device. Smashing Magazine has a wonderful story on how to design for the mobile web. A must read for anyone who is interested in connecting with people in the coming year. Couched as a trends article, this is more a how to, with loads of very important insights on how the phone and its user are different compared to when he/she uses other devices. The story points to 5 key differences that a designer has to keep in mind when designing for the medium, including lack of white spaces and images. On the technical front, look out for the use of sub domains rather than use .mobi as a TLD, it’s a lot easier to manage content delivery on different platforms, we suspect. Another important trend that’s being noticed is the need to prioritise content for visitors. Show only what is important seems to be the mantra of the best sites, which means even ads are out for the moment. Mobile as a platform for delivering web sites is still evolving. Music and movie makers seem to have a leg up at the moment as people using their phones as music players and mini screens for watching things is already firmly in place. How to deliver easily navigable websites and corporate borchureware, now that’s another challenge. The Smashing Magazine story is here. How NY Times redesigned navigation for the iPhone is here.

Making Money With Mobile

Interesting little story in AdAge digital that links into a Yankee Group research. Banks, the study says, should look at generating from people taking their accounts onto their mobile. Generally, banks have largely viewed the channel as a way to generate savings by diverting customer service away from call centers or interactive voice response. But at some point, says Yankee Group, they have to look beyond saving overheads and use mobile as a revenue generator. Using an embedded payment chip on the phone, a mobile phone should be able to do everything a credit card does, faster and without a hassle, hence adding to convenience and more transactions. Read here in AdAge.

An ATM Machine At Home

One of those ideas that instantly puts a smile on your face. A piggy bank designed like an ATM. So on one of those days when you want to stay home to watch a DVD and order a pizza, but realize that you’re out of cash, the piggy bank (complete with your PIN and a security card that acts as the ATM card) will come to your rescue. Each time you ‘deposit’ money in the ATM piggy bank, it updates its account balance. Like in a regular ATM, you can also check your balance to keep a tab on the account. Priced at 25 pounds, this new age piggy bank is causing quite a stir in the UK. Another similar product, the ATM Savings Bank is a fun way to teach kids about savings and math skills. Also designed like a basic ATM, this piggy bank lets kids swipe their ATM card to check balances, stash bills and coins and to key in their transactions. This battery run device also keeps kids entertained by making electronic sounds when they key in each transaction.

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