Get Smart, the 1960’s TV show starring Don Adams as the bumbling spy from CONTROL, was all over modern communications. The Shoe Phone was a wearable mobile device…if only they’d thought to combine that technology with its Cone of Silence.
Granted, the Cone of Silence technology wasn’t quite there in 1965 (in fact, much to the viewer’s delight and the Chief’s dismay, it never worked at all), but the idea was sound: it was a technology designed to enable a private 1:1 communication. It was personal, relevant and safe.
When today’s consumers believe they’ll be getting relevant information in a safe and private environment, they’re willing to provide personal information that advertisers can use. Loads of it. They’ll tell us what they like and don’t like, they’ll tell us where they are and how they shop. They’ll volunteer everything we need to deliver 100-percent relevant ads, so long as we respect them and don’t sell them out to intrusive big data.
Today’s Cone of Silence is our mobile device. It’s our Shoe ph— er, I mean our smartphone. It’s our tablet. It’s starting to look like it might even be our watch before too long. But we’re still treating these things like the 1965 Get Smart Cone—we’re not using it like it should be used. We’re blasting out relatively generic marketing messages that are largely designed to apply to a wide swath of people.
The mindset we should be applying to our new and improved Cone of Silence—our mobile devices—should be all about reducing advertising waste. It’s time to take advantage of the technology available to us and create an environment where 1:1 is a reality—where every ad we buy is seen by a consumer when and where it’s relevant. It’s time for waste-free advertising.
Waste-free advertising is the realization of what was once an unobtainable 1:1 marketing relationship. But it’s here now.
There’s a time and a place for brand advertising, but it’s not in our personal mobile devices. When communicating with consumers on their mobile devices, we cannot treat it like a pocket billboard. It needs to be personal. It needs to be private. And it needs to be relevant.
We can regain consumer trust by treating mobile advertising like the Cone of Silence. And in doing so, we’ll keep the chaos (or, KAOS) at bay.