Think about some of the services and products you will use over a lifetime. Isn’t there a way to reach out to a company and make a deal early on and say, if you’ll give me a deal, I’ll be your customer for life? Maybe Geico could buy my first car, and I will use them as my insurer for life. That would be 50+ years of car insurance at $1,400/year = $70,000 in exchange for a $19,000 Ford Focus. And, they would never have to advertise to me again. Or, how about a cell phone company, just send me the latest technology device every two years and give me unlimited service in exchange for a lifetime contract of $75/month. That’s got to net some good return for them, right?
We have been promised free stuff for years in exchange for our marketing soul. Cable television, internet connectivity, cell phones, computers… all were to be free, if I would just allow marketers complete disclosure on my demographic makeup and buying behavior in exchange. So, maybe I have to be exposed to some targeted advertising, big deal I’m exposed to such a high level now, what’s a little more dedicated sales content heading my way. Just give me the free stuff, and maybe start paying me along the way if I can get some of my friends and cyber connections to buy stuff too.
I keep waiting for the offers. I’m prepared to allow deep reflections into my very marketing-affected soul. There are so many choices for every category of product theses days, I’d just as soon have my decisions made for me even if through over saturation from some brand marketers efforts. Just pay me direct and bypass the media and agencies. For a thousand bucks today, I will only eat Kellogg’s Raisin Bran cereal for life.
For now I have only found small victories of free product or content. Long ago I discovered free phone information service, 1-800-FREE-411, all I have to do is listen to a 15 second ad and then I get the phone number I am looking for. Now Google and Microsoft compete for the free 411 service. So, I can call 800-GOOG-411 or 800-CALL-411 instead of searching google on my iPhone.
This year, I was also able to follow the NCAA tournament and watch any game live on my iPhone via a CBS March Madness app… for free! I did have to watch something about Buick before getting linked to the game telecast. Not a big deal, Buick has some sexier looking cars these days, too bad they get city mileage under 19 mpg, or maybe I’d even consider one. The app got rave reviews.
So, when do I start getting paid for unadulterated access to my purchasing power? Wake up advertisers, bypass the middleman and just pay us a little upfront fee and you’ll be our favorite brand because at the end of the day, McDonald’s or Wendy’s, Target or Wal-Mart, Coke or Pepsi, Bud or Miller, Raisin Bran or Lucky Charms… I’m not sure we really care.