Subscribe to Advertising & Marketing Review!|
Contact Ken Custer at 303-277-9840.
Marketing From the Sky
by Glen Emerson Morris
Copyright © 1994 - 2010 by Glen Emerson Morris
All Rights Reserved
keywords: Internet advertising, Internet marketing, business, advertising, Internet, marketing.
For more advertising and marketing help, news, resources and information visit our Home Page.
The recent telecommunications bill enacted by congress is a doubled edge sword
for advertising and marketing interests. The negative side is that this bill will
result in even greater fragmentation of what's left of the "mass market". The positive
side is that it will offer entirely new, and in some cases, better ways of marketing.
However, congress isn't the only power about to have a profound impact on
the nation's viewing habits. The telecommunications bill is coming along at exactly
the same time a new mass communications technology is taking off.
The eighteen inch satellite dish system has sold more units in less time than
any other technology in the history of communications. And the mini dish system achieved
those sales with prices starting at $700.00. With the price of a complete dish system now starting at $199.00, or the equivalent of two days at Disneyland for anyone
with kids, dish ownership is going to become very common in this country, and likely
The recent telecommunications bill will only help mini dish sales. One of
the aspects of the bill is that Americans now have the right to put up a DBS satellite
dish regardless of any zoning law, covenant, or other restriction in effect prior
to the passage of this bill. Even apartment owners will have to let their tenants put dishes
on the roofs of their apartment buildings. The theory is owners will be allowed to
charge tenants for attaching an antenna to the roof, but charges have to be minimal.
As millions of American's switch to DBS there will be winners and losers.
According to the latest set of numbers on the watching habits of dish owners, the
biggest looser is going to be videotape rental stores. People with dishes seem to
like to watch a lot of movies, preferably ones without commercials, and especially and ones
they don't have to take back. Between pay per view and the numerous no-commercials
movie channels the second biggest loser will be advertisers, unless advertisers start
a counter offensive, and soon. The third biggest loser will be cable systems, who are
now paying the price for treating their customers over the years in ways only monopolies
To continue to reach consumers, marketers must learn to exploit both satellite
and computer technology. For instance, consider the opportunities a hybrid Internet/DBS
system would offer, when combined with the new DVD drive system coming out later
this year. A business could operate a standard Website to receive requests for catalogs,
and then broadcast the catalog to the consumer from a data channel on one of the
satellites. The new DVD drives will allow consumers to record several Sears sized
catalogs on a single, erasable, inexpensive disk. Many of the new satellite dish systems
can be plugged directly in to computers, and a dish
now costs less than many of the better modems.
This hybrid approach will work well because it fits the ratio of traffic between
consumer and business. Most of the communication is from the business, to the consumer.
A common example is a consumer sending a postcard to a business requesting a catalog. The consumer's postcard only needs to have one line ("send me a catalog") and
an address on it, but businesses have to print and mail a catalog that might have
cost thousands to produce, and several dollars to mail.
There are three ways a business could use DBS satellites to respond to customers
requests for an information; continual, scheduled, and custom broadcasts.
Continual broadcast, for companies that can afford it, is having an entire
data channel to themselves so that consumers will always have immediate access the
information the need to buy the company's products. This model is similar to the
Internet's Websites, in that the company's presence is always online. This method will likely
be too expensive for all the but the largest mass market corporations, at least for
Scheduled broadcast is very much like television in that things
happen on a regularly scheduled basis. When consumers wants to get a company's catalog,
they connect to the company's Website and are told what time, and on what data channel,
the catalog will be broadcast on the satellite. The consumer's computer could then be set to automatically to tune in at the right time and channel to download the
catalog for the consumer browse later.
Custom broadcast is request based. In this model companies only broadcast
information that is requested by consumers. This could be either expensive or cheap,
depending on how soon the information needs to reach the consumer. The slowest DBS
based delivery might out perform Federal Express, and for less money if properly used. Businesses
just need to learn how to use DBS technology to reach more people for less cost.
Like the Internet, DBS systems and the data channels they offer have so much
potential that it's not a question of if most business should use DBS data channels,
but how. Another gold rush has been started on the information highway, and this
time the limits are sky high.
Back to top