Have we as consumers become ‘cocooned’ in our own mobile worlds?

Posted: March 21, 2012 in Opinion
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It struck me on the train to and from London yesterday as well as travelling on the underground that so many of us, especially the younger generation, rely so much upon our mobiles.

'Cocooned' consumers: Are we becoming too dependent on our mobiles?

It was refreshing to arrive at a reception in the magnificent Merchant Taylor’s Hall in Threadneedle Street before the annual NCWE Awards ceremony to actually mingle and talk face to face with people, communicating with body language, eye movement, gestures, as well as listening and waiting before answering questions. It was a delight to engage with Nikki and Hannah from Holiday Extras, one of the NCWE sponsors, who told me more about their organisation and themselves that I would have gathered from their company’s website.

It does worry me that in our digital age many traditional ways of communicating are becoming lost to younger generations. As marketing advisors we have to be so very careful of giving clients the right advice on using digital media – using it as part of a multifaceted communication campaign, not as the only method, which seems to be the vogue for so many at present. Indeed, as I read in yesterday’s Evening Standard, M&C Saatchi credit the soaring demand from clients wanting to create apps and buy advertising on mobile devices with helping them double their annual profits to a record £16 million! As Chief Executive David Kershaw said, margins are better in sectors such as digital as “clients are prepared to pay more for that which they know less about.”

Network failure: a multifaceted approach to communication is vital.

So while it appears there is no stopping the rise of digital promotion, marketers should remember that as research from the Consumer Knowledge Centre says, “the cocooned consumer is looking to brands for resonance, nurturing, and genuineness; brands must offer support and transparency.” I doubt that this can be done solely in messages of 140 characters. The case for a multifaceted approach to campaigns is vital in both the short and long term for all advertisers.

Thank goodness, otherwise I would have to admit defeat and never step out of my front door, do all my networking, and communicate by iPhone, emails, etc. I would save a lot on clothes, cleaning offices and in other areas, but would miss the social interaction and genuine enjoyments of meeting people face to face.

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