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Advances in Wireless TechnologyChange Targeting Game

Imagine walking down the street with an hour to kill between meetings. You check your Palm XVII and find you received an e-mail with a discount offer from a great Thai restaurant two blocks away. Hungry for some spicy noodles, you head straight to the restaurant to redeem the offer and grab a quick lunch.

Does this sound like any Internet promotion you’ve seen? It doesn’t, but it is an example of the power marketers will possess through promotions and wireless technology. Marketers spent $85 billion domestically on promotions over the past year, according to Promo Magazine. Today, marketers on the Internet deliver offers and products to consumers with promotional wares such as coupons, points, samples, premiums and sweepstakes.

Over the next few years, targeted technology-driven innovations such as Personal Digital Assistants and other wireless devices will become common. As a result, the use of Internet promotions will dramatically increase as marketers have greater ability to target and reach consumers.

Consumers are hungry for newer, targeted promotions because they provide quicker and more personalized results – and, most importantly, value. As consumers embrace and adapt to innovations, they will gain greater value from them. I’d try any restaurant once that will e-mail me a coupon for 20 percent off my first lunch as I’m walking by.

New promotional initiatives are being created from convergence and increased access to broadband. Forrester Research, Cambridge, MA, projects 34 percent of the Net population will have broadband access by 2002, a 26 percent increase from 1999.

What that means for marketers is quicker and greater access to consumers than ever before. By combining content and interaction with promotions, marketers can send a targeted message, include a promotional offer, and generate qualified leads to provide tangible value for consumers simultaneously. These benefits demonstrate Forrester’s findings that Internet promotions are three to five times more effective on the Net than they are in the offline world.

Technology-driven promotions are rapidly improving the way marketers reach consumers. Promotions are one of the most successful marketing tactics in the U.S. The combination of promotions and Internet technology has proven itself a viable marketing initiative over the past half decade. The evolution of promotions will result in promotions being delivered over wireless devices.

As the development of platforms to support these concepts becomes a reality, the combination of content, interaction and promotion will create a new experience for consumers – empowerment. Consumers will have limitless choices and become more selective in their decision making.

The evolution of wireless technologies will allow promotions to evolve into even more valuable interactive experiences for consumers with greater targeting capabilities for marketers. So remember, consumers should be served promotions daily, with a heaping side order of technology.

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