Let's face it face it, trends will continue to evolve in CONSUMER INVOLVEMENT MARKETING, but as they do and as you think about this series we have taken you through – think about how involved you really want to be. Are you the type of person who is just going to buy what everyone else is buying (another E – easily influenced), be a hermit or think trends are set for you, with someone already doing the research.
A great example of this in the movie, The Devil Wears Prada, where a naive young woman comes to New York and scores a job as the assistant to one of the city's biggest magazine editors, the ruthless and cynical Miranda Priestly. She has never worked in fashion and realizes that everything in the industry is already pre selected for her, the consumer.
But, are businesses really pre-selecting for you? With the advancement of technology, RFID (radio frequency identification) has become real big. Car company, MINI USA once tested this technology in New York City. Owners of the cars would see motor boards customized for them, creating additional customer loyalty but also measuring the trends of the drive patterns drivers have for later R & D.
How can RFID be used to alert consumers to complimentary goods?
Proctor and Gamble used RFID to give a personal touch. For example when a customer picked up a shampoo off the shelf in a store, a small screen next to the product displayed the complimentary conditioner. Whoa. George Orwell eat your heart out.
Let's go a little farther. What happens when RFID technology is applied to a string of actions taken over a period of time, like, say a family on vacation? More recently, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has been exploring the idea of using a “magic band” that would allow the vacation experience for a family to be seamless. All information (tickets, dining, hotel key) would be linked to this band, allowing the vacationing family to have less hassle, but also allowing Disney to better refine the experience with data collected. Sounds pretty great right or is it all too much.
OK folks, so really how close is “too close”, how much is “too much” when it comes to knowing how exactly you as a Consumer, well, consume? In the pursuit of convenience and commerce, given they way we live and how much we look for convenience and efficiency, is all this Customer Involvement connectivity just “the way it is”? What's your comfort level in data being mined about you — let us know?