Never Thought I’d Be Jealous Of Kansas City
This service, which goes for $130/month for TV and internet, was originally only available in Kansas City, MO/KS (of all places) and has received such wild fanfare that Austin will be next. It's assumed that the roll-out will be implemented in Texas even faster than it was in Kansas City due to the city's higher population density in Austin. However, this makes me believe that Jacksonville, the country's largest city in terms of square-mileage, won't exactly be on the short list to receive the service. This seems to be fitting skepticism considering we can't even get decent broadband coverage at our location in the heart of downtown Jacksonville. SO, this is the point in my blog, where I will crank my megaphone to 1,000 and urge my fellow residents of Jacksonville to write the mayor's office, write your senator, and pester Google incessantly to have the “Bold New City of the South” live up to its namesake by incorporating Google Fiber throughout our fine city. The potential applications for this service are endless and could change the way we do business, watch television, disseminate information, educate our children, and so on….Let's start a grass-roots movement to be the first city on the eastern seaboard to employ this paradigm-shifting technology! OH, and before I forget…..that Google stock that is north of $800/share that people think will be tapering off or even becoming cheaper….THINK AGAIN.
Connecting with an audience is the most important goal an advertiser needs to accomplish. Beyond pushing your agenda, your message and your product… you need to connect with your consumer on their level in order to make your brand or product relevant to their daily lives.
This desire to make a connection inevitably and quite naturally found itself taking over the internet. It makes sense… Go where the people are. You cannot get through a single work day without logging on, so why not focus advertising energy to those sites which are visited most. But, how can you make your efforts social and interactive? Many have found their answer to be: By incentivizing! How many businesses have you liked simply because you liked them? Or did they have to ask you to, boasting some sort of promise? Do you still visit those websites or has the social media realm captivated your attention?
This brings me to my title for this piece, AntiSocial Media. I believe, as I said before, that social media is a necessary evil, but an evil nonetheless. And while its title implies a form of communicating which promotes social behavior, it, in fact, diminishes our abilities to be social, connect and interact on a personal level. What’s the need for calling your college buddies to catch up when you can view their lives on the internet, look at pictures of their wedding and see their kids grow up in the posted family photo albums…? No need to call your friends about buying that new house, just post it and they can take the tour themselves!
This reminds me of the car commercial where the daughter says her parents aren't really living because they don’t have any friends on Facebook, all the while, they are out enjoying their lives while she is sitting at home socializing on her computer, alone.
Through all this quick and easy connection comes a very real disconnect far greater than I think we would like to admit. What’s more important, living your life for you, or so it fills your wall nicely? Do you take pictures for yourself anymore, or has personal photography reduced itself to the sole purpose of showing off? I hope we can get back to a healthy balance of communication where we can supplement our lives with technology but not replace it entirely. Unfortunately, it has become so common, that to not have a presence means you don’t exist.
We continue this trend because “everybody else is doing it”, and I certainly have nothing against the platforms themselves, just what human nature has done with them. So, we do what we have to, to prove that we exist and that our clients do as well – but I look forward to a time where advancements improve our abilities, instead of hindering them.
Are Companies the New Consumers?
Think about it. As advertisements push the limits and our patience, Company X needs to find some way to get our attention. That is the consumer's product. We offer brand loyalty. It's no surprise that this has always been the highly coveted goal for all companies and brands… but they used to not have to try so hard.
Now, they are among us. Having their own pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn… interacting as though they were your friend or “part of your professional network”. They want, so badly, for us to like them. But, can you blame them? The consumer has what the brand wants… Time, attention, loyalty, and of course money.
As I said before, this is no new development, but it is an interesting concept to point out as companies explore new frontiers in advertising. The consumer has all the control – the choice as to whether to click on that ad, go to that site, or to type that company name they heard on TV into their preferred search engine.
So, how can companies counteract this choice? They need to be where we are, doing what we are doing, interacting with us to develop relevance to our daily lives. They can no longer expect a stand alone ad or TV commercial to get the job done. It has to be interactive. It needs a call to action. It needs to sync up with multiple outlets in order to 1. Get noticed and 2. Be seen as relevant. Companies can no longer stand by and expect the customer to come to them… They now need to be the active consumer, embarking on the world, living amongst their desired product – in order to understand it and work with it.
The more inundated people are with information and stimulation, the less likely they are to go looking for it. We talk a lot about consumer driven advertising, and this concept follows suit. Think about the consumer as being the driver of a bus… Not only do they get to choose what ad is placed on the side of their bus, but they get to choose where they stop and who gets on. So, Company X is at the mercy of Brand Y, with Brand Y being YOU.