Sunday, 16 September 2012


As a proud new owner of an iPhone, I’ve discovered that most of those “free” apps aren’t so free.  Most apps have been monetized in one way or another.  Either you’re subjected to ads, or you’re given an abbreviated functioning but urged to pay for the “full version” of the app.  Or in one case, a game urges you to pay money to buy extra features and functions to make your progress easier.

In a world where 300 television channels aren’t enough to entertain us, computers and smart-phones are jumping in to fill our lives with more hollow promises of adventure and joy.  With highly sophisticated marketers creating more and more amusements to earn our attention (and an audience with our wallet), consumers are being conditioned.  Consumers are now used to receiving something amusing or useful for free in exchange for a chance to sell to them. 

The free “something” often has an extremely low entry barrier; in other words you don’t have to jump through a lot of hoops and you don’t need to give a lot of personal information to get it.  In our case, a free something might be a polishing cloth, jewellery care brochure, product flier or jewellery cleaner.  Electronically, we might create an engaging website with links to product knowledge and/or product photos.

Now I’m not sure what your budget would have to be, but imagine you had an addictive puzzle game app featuring gemstones, product placements, store advertisements and links to your website.  Imagine you had an easy to use 3-D jewellery design function on your website that allowed clients to create designs that they would pay you to create.  Imagine if by walking near your store, shoppers’ smart-phones would automatically ask them to connect with your social media site.  What if your kiddie area had enchanting video-games that allowed kids to find treasures of gold and gemstones.

Now, consider doing none of those things.  Continue to earn business through conventional advertising, relationship building and word-of-mouth.  Pay attention to your feelings on this next question… Imagine that you avoid electronic media, but your competition invests heavily in it: would you fear that competitor in a long-term battle for market-share? 

There’s your little gut-check for the week on how you truly feel about the current state of electronic amusement marketing.  I hope it helps you with your future strategies.

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