Futuristic Marketing
So how do I come up with these topics? I get inspiration from all over. This title comes from a conference I presented at this week - The CIM Tutors Conference. With presenters such as David Meneer, the Marketing Director of the Eden Project, and Graham Flower, the Head of Customer Management at HSBC presenting.

My presentation focused on Mobile Marketing. Originally, I was asked to focus on mobile phone marketing, but when I look at the future trends, I have difficulty seeing the mobile phones we have today. Smartphones and PDA's, wireless laptops, GPS devices, etc are all merging providing a multiude of product options, and delivery methods.

Have you seen the Googlezon movie. This was developed about two years ago as a prediction of the future of the Internet. If you are unmoved by this video, I would suggest that you haven't grasped the magnitude of the potential problem. Take a look yourself - epic.makingithappen.co.uk/new-masterfs1.html This tracks the story of the rise and merger of Google and Amazon as a world-beating news media organisation. In terms of mobile marketing, however, the final section of the movie is important - in this, the future is full of podcasts - people all over the world providing up to the minute, local news - things like reports of traffic accidents, notification of the opening of a new shop, of just that it is a beautiful day - get outside!

This all adds to the noise of communications that people will be bombarded with. As we get older, this increase probably gets intrusive (leading to the notion of Grumpy Old Men/Women!) and a perception that it cannot last. But the kids are growing up in this world, and adapting to this media landscape. Just think - people who are now 18 years old were born in 1988, so ever since they remember, they have had computers, when they got interested in these products, there has been the Internet, Digital TV, etc. I can remember just having 3 TV channels and being envious of my cousins in Liechtenstein because they got TV from Switzerland, Austria and Germany - a total of 10 stations!

We also had a laugh at the conference remembering the early mobile phones. I remember having the 'car-battery' attached to a phone. Stretched arms, bad backs, etc - all a result of wanting to accessible. Today, of course, products such as Blackberry, wireless PDA's and laptops means that we are not only able to speak to people on the move, but can send and receive emails, browse the internet and organise our lives anyway in the world.

Podcasts are a further extension, as I outlined above, are allowing people to listen to 'magazine articles' on the move. Indeed there is also software out there to translate your emails into voice so that you can listen to them in the car or on the train. I showed an example of a car that some Mac enthusiasts have modified. They have installed a Mac Mini computer with a small LCD touch screen on which they display Radio (digital and analogue), TV/DVD, GPS, music player (in this case - iTunes), Bluetooth mobile phone connection and WiFi access from the computer when the car is parked in a hotspot. Some people have also included some form of engine monitoring.

So image the scenario - you synchronise your email's before you leave the house in the morning. On your way into work, you listen to your emails, a podcast and perhaps part of a radio show. Later you go to visit a client. You listen to more emails, chat a while on the phone (hands-free of course), whilst the GPS uides you to the client. As you arrive you find a hotspot (or use your mobile phone) to access the Internet and check a detail or two about the customer. On the way home, you are stuck in a traffic jam - noone is moving. You write a few emails, a perhaps watch the TV news or a DVD until the traffic starts moving, switching the screen off the distraction.

Now think of the marketing opportunities - a WiFi computer coming in range of say McDonald's and you get a message saying "Why don't you come in for a cool drink, bite to eat, and you can use our WiFi network?" You approach a petrol station transmitting it's prices and telling you that the next petrol station is 45 miles away - perhaps also providing a traffic and weather bulletin.

Do you think you could live in such a world? I think I could, and I also think I could make money in such a world. And all this whilst you are not chained to a desk (though the roads may be less safe ...)