David Barko Media Literacy 10/15/09 Midterm Part 1 “Future of” Marketing Tactics There are constantly new ideas arising that lead to the creation of new products. With these new products comes a need to market them to the consumers. Companies go to great lengths in order to find the most efficient ways to market their products in a way that will touch their potential consumers on a personal level and incite them to purchase their product. One such idea that is in the process of becoming a product is the Virtusphere, a machine that brings users in a virtual realm that they can walk around in. It is made of a literal life-size hamster ball, about 200 times the size, that a person can walk around in. With a headset attached, they are able to look and walk around whatever virtual realm they choose the computer to bring them to. This machine would make it possible for people to walk around historic sites around the globe or even explore the deserts of Mars. A product like this would require a marketing and advertising strategy to make people aware of the product and eventually buy it. Two tactics that could be used to market this product are cool hunting and narrow casting. The Virtusphere could be marketed by trying to find out what interests certain types of people. Certain places that the virtual sphere could take you or what activities or games could be played in it would be influenced by what people think is “cool”. Some people might want to participate in first person shooter games, some might want to play a sport, or some might want to explore through a jungle. This type of information could be found by doing research on what activities are “cool” nowadays and what would attract people to use this device. If this product incorporates what is cool into its uses, more people will want to buy this product. This type of persuasive tactic is used by some of the biggest companies in the world today. Researchers are constantly trying to find out what interests people and what people find cool in today’s world by immersing themselves in the culture of the demographic they are trying to study. Between meeting these people in person, logging into chat rooms, and going to events that they will be at, a researcher can gain great insights into what these people want. Another tactic that could be used to market the Virtusphere is narrowcasting. The act of narrowcasting, also known as target marketing, is when a company picks a specific target audience to market their product to. This is a basic tactic used by marketers and is helpful ,making consumers feel as if the advertisement was made for them. Stronger connections are then built between the company and the consumer and it becomes a more personal relationship with the brand as opposed to just a buy. This could be used to market this product by depicting people partaking in various activities while in the Virtusphere. This tactic is very similar to cool hunting in that the marketers want to find out the interests of their potential consumers. The Virtusphere advertisements could show one person walking around Yankee Stadium in their virtual realm while another ad could show someone wandering through the Coliseum, both as if they were actually there. There could be people playing video games, sports, or touring the world without even leaving their ball. By showing different activities happening in the Virtusphere, you are targeting the specific interests of different groups of people, all of whom will get the same excitement to partake in their realm of interest. This tactic is being used today by all companies to market products. Through focus groups for certain demographics and even cool hunting, marketers are trying to hit a specific target audience with their advertisements. Without this essential tactic, the message will slip through the cracks of the general public without touching a specific group. New types of marketing tactics that could be on the horizon are going to be much more electronically based. Tracking or polling such things as what people buy, where they go, and what their interest are are just a of these few possibilities. With the rise of social networking sites like Twitter, marketers can find out exactly what people are thinking during their daily activities. By keeping tracks of these types of sites, marketers can know exactly what potential consumers are thinking about, possibly during their interactions with advertisements or during shopping decisions. Interactive ads have been around for a while but personalized advertisements based on the information gained through social networking sites may also come about. This will cause the relationships between consumers and companies to grow even stronger than they are now, leading to higher levels of brand loyalty and more specific brand characters. Marketing in today’s world is very complicated due to the numerous amounts of other advertisements in essence trying to accomplish the same goal that you are. In order to market a new product such as the Virtushpere, two possible tactics that would be beneficial for marketers would be cool hunting and narrowcasting. With the constant changes in techniques for reaching consumers, who know how marketers will advertise the Virtusphere in the years to come.