Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a television junkie. From reality television, to cooking programs I can’t get enough of the boob tube. Having recently realized my addiction, I decided to lower my monthly costs to my wallet (as well as my brain) and end my cable subscription. Tempting my freedom from mindless television programming is the wildly useful Hulu.com. I’ve taken to Hulu to catch up on the must see television programming I simply cannot do without. Hey, at least I don’t have cable!
While enjoying Hulu yesterday, I was amazed to find out that they have put the advertising power into the hands of the consumer (almost as amazed when I watched Kris Allen win American Idol). No more are the days where tv watchers have to sit in front of 5 minutes of toilet paper commercials and local car dealers (with cheese haircuts, cough) claiming big rebates. Instead, Hulu asks you, the watcher, what would enhance your viewing experience. Would you rather watch one long commercial prior to your program, or smaller increments throughout your show? Would you prefer to be shown pedicure products or the hottest lip gloss shades? I, for one, am still searching for the shade of Jillian’s lip gloss on the season finale of the Bachelorette.
Okay, I’m not naive. I understand I am still being shown products I don’t need, at prices I can’t afford in order to fund the television programs I simply can’t live without. Yet, I can’t help but marvel at the fact that new technology puts control back into the hands of the consumer. Many are quick to say that the internet shoves millions of advertisements in our hypnotized brains every minute. I strongly disagree (with the southern charm of Sookie Stackhouse on True Blood). On demand television, satellite radio and other technological advancements, allow consumers to decide when they subject themselves to ads.
Technology lets consumers reclaim the front seat, which is why it’s more important than ever to revise your marketing strategy. Gone are the days of flooding advertisements at consumers, because now we can simply bypass them. Instead, listen to your consumers through avenues that everyday people are using (blogs, twitter, Facebook) and find out what matters to them. Then, engage in conversation, ask questions and explain how your services provide them with things they need. Once you establish yourself as a living, breathing entity, not an omnipresent smoke monster, you can begin offering your brand to consumers.