Mike, a 25 year-old bond trader is walking back to his apartment after work. He’s had a tough day on the trading desk and needs a beer or two. The pub he’s about to walk by realizes that their perfect demographic is about to walk by. The pub pushes an ad out to Mike’s iPhone telling him that there’s $1 drafts and a free order of wings if he comes in before 6pm.
Out in the suburbs, Stacie, a stylish 30-something hockey mom, has gotten her kids off to school and is planning her day. She looks at her task list on her computer and checks her email and remembers that she needs to get an exterminator because she’s seen a bunch of ants lately. In her email, she sees that Peter’s Pest Control has sent her a trial introductory coupon for 50% off.
This is the holy grail of local advertising: Advertisers able to reach people when they’re in buying mode. Lots of companies big and small have been working on this very large opportunity for years. Ever since a good friend of mine started talking about starting a company to address this a couple of years ago, I’ve been intrigued with how this can done. There’s lots of moving parts that would have to come together to make this happen. Most notably however is that consumers will have to embrace it.
I believe that somewhere down the road (it may be two years or it may be ten), consumers will share detailed demographics about themselves with advertisers so that they can consume advertising when and how they want to. Personally, I think it’s long overdue.
I think this also relates to brands. For instance, like everyone else I have real brand affinity. I like Titleist golf balls, North Face camping gear, Sanuk sandals, Van Duzer Pinot Noir & Justin’s Peanut Butter, among hundreds of other brands. I would gladly tell these companies everything about me (really valuable information to them) if they would create a dialogue with me and give me discounts for my brand loyalty. If there were one central place online where I could access all the brands and local merchants that I want to engage with, I’d give them accurate feedback on their products: what I like and don’t like, how often I use their products and what I’d like to see from them in the future.
Yesterday I met with a very smart gentleman who’s been thinking long and hard about this problem and how to address it. I’m curious, how do you feel about this? Would you be willing to share your personal demographics with brands that you have an affinity with to get access to latest releases, best deals, and special offers? Would you maintain an active dialouge with them? What about local merchants? Would you opt in to receive offers when you need your windows washed, driveway sealed, or a new carpet?
I believe that this is where it’s heading. I hope you’ll share your thoughts with me…