Tuesday, December 21, 2004

The Advertising Shift

From eWeek.com The future of wireless? Advertising, of course!.

Wireless looks like a great way of getting news to people—not in a few weeks' time but immediately. And of course, if you can hook into the Internet, costs are very low.

What is at first a simple "cut the costs" equation suddenly becomes a rather different story once you realize that mobile devices aren't anonymous. If I'm selling you a widget and you look at my advertising on TV or on paper, I know almost nothing about you personally other than what group of purchasers you most probably belong to.

But if you look into my Web advert from your mobile device, I know a lot about you. I can, potentially, know exactly who you are, where you are and what retail outlets are within 500 yards of you.

This will be done when all the world has physical world hyperlinks.

A physical world hyperlink is this.

And this info is like gold to an advertiser.

Increasingly, I can link through mobile payments schemes and learn how much you have available to spend. And I can look at your browsing habits and e-mail (yes, I can!) and discover what you're interested in, right now, this minute.

The advertiser will now have your email address AND your cellphone number to market with.

Advertising with wireless ceases to be a case of: "In this socioeconomic group, there is a 3 percent chance that one of these readers will be in the market for a replacement vehicle in the next month, so let's run a car commercial."

It starts to be: "Emergency! Billy Joe is on the corner of Roosevelt and Jackson, and he's looking into a Ford dealership! Tell him about the new Chrysler!"

As wireless becomes more and more pervasive, the information you need to carry with you becomes less and less.

This creates an enormous shift in advertising.

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