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Future You Marketing

Posted on December 12, 2011 and read 7,162 times

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darren1 Future You MarketingDarren Richardson
Creative Director

With our busy lives driven by work schedules, home and social demands (yes, I am sure some of us actually have lives outside of work), it’s surprising that we actually have time to eat a meal or sleep. The last thing we want to be asked is, “Please pay attention to this 5-minute commercial break.” When brands market to us, we expect it to be on our own terms, at a time when we’re most receptive and interested in the information, and with personally relevant content.

I read in a good book titled On Demand Brand that Burger King was the first marketer to really embrace the on demand culture by telling us that we could ‘have it our way’ – hold the pickle, extra mayo, etc – you decide. In doing this, Burger King allowed all decision-making power to reside with the consumer, giving us a choice and concurrently establishing a central platform for the brand.

Broadcast followed this logic as well, giving consumers on demand TV: watch your favorite soap opera any time or pause to make a sandwich.

Social media also headed into on demand via status updates, Twitter and the like, giving consumers and brands a way to send timely information to many awaiting listeners. Celebrities, who of course treat themselves as brands, have made good use of this on demand communication, giving their followers updates from tour dates to toilet habits.

I think we all agree on demand is the way forward, but what if we could go one more step forward and give our future self the choice to be on demand?

A little bit of a head spinner, I know, so let me give you an example.

Have you ever seen something in a magazine, website or on a billboard and thought: I wonder where I can get those? Or, those look great; I wonder if they make them in red? Or, have you ever had a list of things you have to do but you can’t tackle all in one day: buy an axe, pick up a loaf of bread, toothpaste, and don’t forget the lampshade. These are all from different stores with different opening times, parking restrictions and locations in various parts of the city. How are you going to get all of this done? It’s certainly not the makings of on demand gratification, is it?

Both of these lists, the “I covet that item” and “have to do’s,” all get added to the mental list in your head or scrap paper that gets lost when you empty your pockets of tissues and sweets wrappers. Or maybe that’s just my routine. Though either way, it’s not an ideal way to organize yourself, or for brands to fulfill wants and needs on demand.

And I’ve been thinking, what’s the solution to this chaotic process? Which leads me to think that it would be cool to message the future you.

“What do you mean?” I can hear you ask. Well, imagine this list of items you carry around, along with your keys, wallet and mobile phone. And imagine when you pass a store that has said items, you’re messaged to head into the store to purchase them. You could then go in and purchase, or choose to ignore if your hands are full, in which case you’d be notified the next time you pass a store with an axe, for example.

We could even get a step closer to controlling the optimal time to be on demand, where your mobile could notify you of these available treasures you’re seeking based on your location, item price and your financial situation.

Never again would you forget, well, anything.

This ‘future you’ app could be an internet thing and work via your car, watch and home appliance, meaning that you’re always connected and that you make the choice whether you need that extra gallon of milk or not.

Sounds like a lofty future vision, doesn’t it?

Well, not really. A company called Geo Loqi has already started in this direction, adding more brand and product-based information via data APIs (application programming interface), and linking the experience to brands and retailers; giving us the instant gratification that we as consumers expect these days.

As I said at the beginning of this post, we live in a crazy, busy world.  Anything that makes our lives more manageable will only strengthen our bonds to the brands we rely on. We can, of course, opt out but I personally would opt in, giving me more time to spend having fun with my family. What about you?




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