Being Bubble People
Mr. Clemons cannot be faulted as a marketer since he is a distinguished academic but he and I, like many marketers fall into the trap as avid users and early adopters. With our iPhones, Kindles, Second Life avatars, World of Warcraft accounts and Twitter accounts in the grid of 36, the insulating nature of our bubble can often force us to fail in our anthropological assessments of the larger population. While I’ve happily bought virtual games from Sony and gifted pixels through Facebook, only a fraction of my peers can share similar experiences. Realistically speaking, not everyone is willing to pay for virtual goods or even participate in virtual communities.
Making larger assumptions about advertising, strategy and the future is something that requires challenging convention and looking beyond the norm but being thoughtful of looking through the bubble. Despite millions owning iPods and using iTunes, Apple’s success in selling TV show downloads has been eclipsed by Hulu which has grown spectacularly by using streaming ad supported TV shows. As Apple and Hulu offer different kinds of value for different sorts of people, it becomes increasingly difficult to judge the death of one model over the other. For some in the bubble there might be a single model that they favor but for everyone outside the bubble it seems unreasonable to think there needs to be only one model.