The purpose of Marketing is simple: get your message to a customer, with as little cost as possible, and motivate them to purchase your product. As an engineer / scientist, I thought some of the gizmos such as free pens, the little footballs, the shirts and coffee cups were all neat gestures, and nice subtle advertising. The most useful thing that I ever picked up at a tradeshow was the retractable telephone cord.
But these products cost things. What about the marketing team that comes up with free, or renewable forms of advertising?
I caught a brief blurb the other day that large companies, such as McDonalds, Budweiser, and others are collecting cell phone information to create databases, ready to use with cellular Short Message Service (SMS). How can they collect this information? By offering free downloading of various cell phone games, perhaps offering real-time messaging of sports scores, or offering cell phone ring tones. No one reads the fine-print anymore concerning promotions. Some of that fine print is so small that older folk cannot even read it.
It will not take long for companies to turn this database of phone numbers into an advertising campaign. And they should legally be able to -- they provided the source ringtone and paid the fees for you to download it. I am concerned, however, that the precious wireless bandwidth will be consumed with this advertising that phone service quality and performance will suffer. I also want to find ways so that my phone doesn't become saturated with this garbage -- something that my emailbox desires relief from.
I also hope that various cell phone companies continue to sell dumb cell phones. I just want to make phone calls on mine. Doesn't even need to feature a color display -- my ears cannot appreciate 32-bit colors.
And don't get me started on camera phones.....