Saturday, April 22, 2006

Marketing Consumer Ownership Customization

While marketers may be shying away from advertising on Myspace because of some quality control issues and legal incidents from Myspace users, there are still companies out there that put up Myspace profiles.

It seems to them that the ability to network with others is a big draw and small enough risk to continue pursuing marketing themselves via Myspace.

But to me, one of the most revealing things is how Myspace users love to customize their profiles. An entire cottage industry has developed where Myspace tools like profile editors, profile templates, and more are available.

What I see is a a maturing and defining trend from the teen to 30-something demographic. I call this "consumer ownership customization".

Consumer Ownership Customization
I don't even know if this term means anything really. I just call it that to describe the trend or demographic characteristic that I observe.

This characteristic I first observed with cellphones 3 years ago. Now, that was just me. Cellphone customization had already taken off several years before 2003.

But the characteristic is the same nonetheless. It seems this demographic age group likes to personalize the stuff that they own. This kind of individualism seems far more prevalent in teens. Of course, it makes sense because teens are in a stage of developing into their own selves. Yet this individualism is carried over into adulthood.

Marketing to Individualism, Customization, Ownership
The automotive industry has long understood the importance of marketing to individualism. Not only do manufacturers offer different options for each model to consumers, an entire automotive secondary market lets consumers customize their

The wireless industry and the secondary market also understand the importance of marketing to individualism. The secondary industries offer new cellphone covers, custom ringtones that sound like real songs, color-rich cellphone wallpapers, and more.

Myspace, Instant Messenger, and Why This is Important
Why is this topic important? This demographic is accustomed to personalization, individualism, and customization. As this demographic matures as consumers, how they receive marketing messages, how they buy, and how they govern their consumer loyalty, will be affected by what they are accustomed to now.

This demographic is exposed to a LOT of personalization and customization. Shows like MTV's "Pimp My Ride" or "Trading Spaces" glorify personalization of owned goods. While personalization of cars and homes do not seem like a revelation, I believe there is a cumulative effect that has ramification with communicating to this demographic.

Entertainment, movies, and artists offer media downloads as part of their promotion mix. Computer desktop wallpapers, AIM buddy icons, and other media downloads are almost an integral part of the marketing mix. All of these things are meant for branding via customization and personalization.

The cumulative effect of this demographic, accustomed to readily customize and personalize their property will affect how they receive marketing messages.

Marketing in the Future
I believe this warrants closer scrutiny and your own personal investigation. Many available marketing research may not have the full data - or the right data.

I believe observing and even immersing in youth-oriented marketing is important for preparing for the future marketing communications paradigm that is already developing.


Post a Comment

<< Home