Friday, May 26, 2006

Barcodes to Amazon via Mobile Phones. Marketers stealth on web will not pay for long:

By Ben Richards and Faris Yakob, in today's FT

"In an age of unprecedented access to information, attempting to deceive consumers is more dangerous than ever before. Rather than trying to dupe consumers into receiving their messages by stealth, brands should do the reverse: to strike an open and honest bargain with the consumer, providing content, tools and experiences in return for engaging with their brand.Smart companies understand that today's web-savvy consumers can be as stealthy as brands.

"These stealth consumers set their web browsers to block advertisements; they use Epinions to find them the best products; they use Kelkoo to find the best prices. If a brand does not deliver, they use the web to air their grievances.

And here's the punch line...

"..It is the brands that embrace this stealth consumer that will thrive. Take Amazon in Japan. If you have a web-enabled camera phone (and almost everyone in Japan does), you can take a picture of a barcode on any product and send it to Amazon compares the code with its online database, and if it stocks the item, it will send you back the price, which is typically lower than the in-store one, and offer you the chance to place an order."

So... does it really make sense to spend advertising dollars on advertising, or maybe it makes more sense to spend the money on making a truly great product and delivering it with the minimum of hassle?

1 comment:

faris said...

Hi there!

Totally agree - nothing kills a bad product faster than good advertising, as they used to say.

A good product/service offering is crucial and represents a core and often forgotten communication channel.

Interruption advertising from the old model may not be the solus solution - but brands will always need to communicate and those that understand the emerging communication ecology, to steal your words, will find ways to empower people, turning customers into friends that seek the brand out.