TM1203_EdNotes, My Holiday Wish List
As a very difficult year for direct marketers comes to a close, I could go on and on about the legion of legislative threats to direct marketing as we know it. But I won't. The subject's a real downer, for you and me both.
In light of this month's cover story on technology, I'd like to share my wish list for "scientific advancements" that direct marketers can use to make a difference in my life. What's on your wish list?
1. Have you heard about "smart billboards"? Developed by a man named Tom Langeland, these video screen billboards can detect which radio stations are being played in cars passing by and change the displayed advertising to fit the audience; the ads are based on the audience demographics for the most popular station playing in all cars for specific parts of the day.
Since I've reached a stage in my life where I have to write everything down or chance forgetting it, I propose that Langeland team up with Catalina Marketing to create a dashboard coupon terminal. The mini printing devices will spit out a coupon for whatever deal or message is displayed on the board. Even better, Catalina could work with 3M to make the coupons Post-it® Notes, so my dashboard can look like my computer at work.
2. Instead of sending me e-mail reminders of a loved one's birthday that's coming up, how about a service that allows me to remind a boyfriend or relative when he or she is about to forget a special occasion I want them to celebrate? Even better, I applaud a trigger campaign that allows me to select suggested gifts, that way I never again get a jumbo tin of Taffy by the Ton when I'm on a diet. What's more, it's still opt-in marketing, because I'm "opting in" someone with whom I have a personal relationship … right?
3. For those of you who attended Direct Marketing Association President & CEO H. Robert Wientzen's keynote presentation at the association's annual conference in October, you heard about "electronic paper" (not really paper, but a thin piece of plastic with an electronic display). In its place, I propose "mood paper." Like the mood ring I had in fifth grade; this paper would not need extensive data to get inside my head to find the right creative approach. My touch alone would alert it to the bad day I had just endured and activate the paper's chemistry to display the offer of a large box of chocolates as the response premium (especially when I'm on a diet!).
On behalf of the Target Marketing editorial team, happy holidays!