Information changes how companies do marketing

Before the advent of the internet when a company wanted to create buzz about a new product/service or when a film studio wanted to promote a new movie in a unique way, the general public did not have a lot of resources at hand to find out more than what the companies wanted to share. The companies controlled virtually all the information that was released in these situations and that enabled them to create the message and audience exactly as they planned.

Nowadays, this is very difficult and at times can be almost impossible. The internet connects people and companies in ways that do not allow the employee to differ from the private individual. If someone is working on a new product for a company that has not been announced yet, then that person may unwittingly release information about that work through his personal life via various internet channels.

This point can be illustrated well with a recent example. The other day I came across a very interesting YouTube video (watch below) which seems to be an introduction or extended trailer for a Mortal Kombat movie or game or something else. The video is very well made and introduces some of the known Mortal Kombat characters from the video games but, at the end on the clip it only says “Mortal Kombat” with no word on what we actually saw.

If we lived in a time before everyone had internet access, then we would have had no other option but to talk to all of our friends about this video and just wait anxiously until the company in charge decided to share some more information with the public. However, we do have internet access and what that allowed everyone to do is look up IMDB (Internet Movie Database) and see that this is in fact a movie that is set for a release possibly sometime in 2013. You can also see some of the people behind the clip and some related stories to the making of the video.

It appears that after the video generated a lot of buzz online, one of the people behind it agreed to do an interview to shed a little more light on what it is. All this would not have happened without the internet and this is both good and bad for the makers of the video. The amount of control has decreased from the company and increased with the consumer, but the positive side for the company is that they can reach more people, faster and it also makes it less expensive to distribute the video because YouTube is free. The non-internet alternative to reach the masses would be TV either on a show or commercial, both of which would be either difficult to accomplish or expensive to run.

This trade off has more positives than negatives for the companies and also for the consumer. Now, more than ever, the individual has more power and control and can influence the actions of a company which keeps everyone honest and lets the company know what their customer wants with less trial and error that can be costly.

All this is thanks to the access to a wealth of information that people have. The best part is that this information is only becoming more easily accessible and thus, even more power is given to the consumer and makes doing business less expensive for the company.