Since we first encountered Internet 2.0, the contextual Internet or whatever we would call it, the fight has been on getting as much usage per user as possible. Facebook, GroupOn, Google search, any search, Instagram, histogram, fistogram whatever.
The overall dogma is that if we have user aka usage then we have an audience and at some point these schmucks will buy from our advertising lists/friends. And it works. For now. Slowing down. Overhead grows. It looks like TV? TV commercials? Yes.
The thing is, from an intellectual/psychological perspective we act as we belong to a group but we want personal/individual attendance. The ads don't know me, the networks either. They try O´so hard to get to know me, intrude my privacy (Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc) and they hope they crunch it right so the ads in the right/top/bottom of my page is the right ones so they can show some good digits on the "penetration".
Some news for you.
This has been done and tried before.
It was called DM, Direct Marketing. How didi it go? Well they won over newspaper ads, radio and TV. Did we like it? No. But the old men that ran/run this DM they say "if the viewer connects with the ad it's not an ad, it's information".
It's just a good ad. Not information. Basically it didn't work in the long run.
This is a new Ad Age. We still long for individual attendance and now we could get it as almost everything is digital come to media and information. And the ones that isn't can lean on the digital. So let us look at what "WE" want:
- In a world of limited resources we always want the best value for the best price
- In a world of complicated situations we need adjusted offers to our situation, not what the neighbour need, what I need.
If I can't get the best value on an individual basis I want the next best choice that I can afford, here is where it get complicated:
This means that the one that is offering me somethine needs to have a superb overview of the market and a unique insight to my needs aka situation. That is why consulting sales is growing but the cost of such consulting sales is staggering. The hit ratio is low and the margins are not even close to anonymous e-commerce. (won't go into why e-commerce is a different approach all together)
This leads to the next revelation. The future of Internet is Exclusivity.
We need to share what we need and what we can afford to get what we desire. But we need to trust the person/service that we share this with. Frankly, would you trust Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, GroupOn, SchmuckOn, MobileLocationShareOn or whatever with your deeper needs and monetary situation? I bet not.
Most of the players tend to explain this by the system of hand over; when a user get his or hers information from a LBS they go to the counter and buy and therefore the transaction is handed over to the transaction holders. Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Cash.
There is an obvious gap. SO they try to invent mobile payments that works (none so far) and they try to convert LBS to actionable sales by coupons, bar codes, QR etc. Not working. So we can't bridge this because a) consumers don't trust LBS with their lifes b) there are few situations where I need a LBS to buy something and in a competitive environment there are low margins so offers are few and bad compared to all the things we need to buy. Just look at it, how many of your last 1000 buys was done through a coupon/offer??? 1? 2? 5?
It's pure shit.
We don't trust transaction holders with our needs and we don't use LBS for our fulfillment. Fact.
So mobile location as a transaction centric environment have no future. Even if 99% of all players in this field still believe this. I can excuse them as they lack knowledge, wants to believe and have few other alternatives.
What we need is to put trust in the hands of the consumer. Treatment by individual, pricing dependant on my private situation, my trust and my needs. So basically what we need is a virtual or real, unit that act as my digital representive when I trade, buy, shop or scan for help, assisted buying or similar.
This is some of the areas where we need totally new services:
- Banking. They treat us as dogs, either they pee on us or they lick up our arses. We need a unified individual approach based on trust; which means I get to pick from their smorgasbord and not the other way around.
- Insurance. Better than banks but they still try to fool us with their "offers". Get real and start giving us some value for money dependant on what I need and not what You need to sell this quarter, Noone trust You guys.
- Energy. Anyone that is anyoed with your electricity bill? I thought so. Want to change provider? I thought so. No difference between the providers? Right. So these people needs to understand trust as a concept. They are crooked, evil and mean based on their behavior. Why should we trust them? You tell me.
- Communications. Hahahahahahaa. Don't get me started. If you don't watch your back they'll fuck you, over and over again. Trusted sales are very far from reality today.
- Travels. Often in monopoly situations, never eager to negotiate. Take it or leave it. Saturated market. We are here to fulfill their lives and not the other way around. Would I trust an airline or a train travel provider with my personal situation? Not today. Maybe tomorrow if they take my needs seriously.
- Food. Supermarkets and brands. Wooha. If they can stab you in the back they will. Low price on steak this week? It means higher priced milk and bread to compensate. Need personal service? Fuck You. We are already understaffed, overprofitted and don't give a cent. Customer for life? Haah. YOu need our stuff so get in line.
There are more and of course this is a somewhat simplified version of life, but you get it. What You need is a way to convince yourself and the service provider that there is a trusted relationship. I believe it starts with taking control of Who we are at the marketplace.
That is why we don't trust LBS; mobile search, advertising, commercials and glossy offers. When They start to take Me seriouusly and I have the control over my own location, data and needs; then we have a conversation!
The future of Internet is Exclusivity. And it's not their choice.
BTW most marketeers are idiots and they will until they start educating themselves on the reality.