Marketing To the Savvy Wired and Mobile Consumer
At last count, there were 212 million Internet users in America (as of July/07), nearly three-fourths or 70.2% of the population, and an estimated 233 million cellular phones in use, far outnumbering the 172 million land line telephones installed as of 2006. These impact advertising reach since time spent surfing the Internet or chatting and being entertained by one’s mobile phone takes time away from usage of traditional mass media advertising channels: television/cable, radio, print and outdoor.
But the giants of global marketing and advertising are nothing if not realistic. They are ever aware of, and flexible about adapting to, social trends. The New Media article, “Social Media Sites Replacing Microsites in Marketing Mix”, represents a paradigm shift in using the Internet to break out of the media clutter and deliver a brand message in an advertising environment that is friendly and relaxed: the networking communities represented by FaceBook and MySpace.
In turn, ‘Marketers Enlist Mobile Phones as Utility Vehicles” illustrates several ways to transform the otherwise-intrusive and bland advertising formats for that medium into compelling services and utilities that cell phone users value. Taking a leaf from the social networking that teenagers and young adults spend so much time with on the Internet, Coke has launched trials of a Sprite-branded social networking utility “The Yard” in the U.S. and in China. Cover Girl exploited the need of women to match make-up with the occasion and their clothes while on the go, away from their PC’s.
“Gift Returns: New Rules Require New Tactics” is meant to help consumers themselves by arming them with tips about returns during this, the longest shopping and gift-giving period in America: be aware about bringing receipts, original packaging (including making sure the part with the UPC is intact), be careful about being blacklisted, and otherwise bone up on changes in returns policies.