Friday, February 19, 2010

Mobile Phones vs. Vestigial Organs: Mobile Marketing for Consumers

As you may all know, I'm enrolled in Ateneo Center for Continuing Education's Digital Marketing Diploma Program, a one-year (I think...) diploma course which takes you on an exhilarating crash course on taking the information superhighway as a route to marketing. Recently, we've all had our first taste of the intense training to be drilled on us and this entry serves as a, uhm, lighter take and as a final requirement for the second module, Mobile: Marketing on the Go! I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who've been with me through both the tortures and pleasures (because pain most often denote pleasure) of the second module. A big hug goes out to Team Awesome Petron: Balot, VCoach Bong, Dani, Nat, and Thea for all the learnings. We made it to the Top Three, guys! Yay for us!

Now, on to the feature presentation.


This is your appendix. And it totally rocks your world because from the birth canal (and perhaps) up to this very moment you've stumbled upon this gem of a blog, it has been with you through thick and thin. It was there during your first date and it probably even remembers every gruelling minute in that coming of age story: from the hormone-laced suggestive monologue to the awkward silence. But, for some of us, our lovable appendices have been yanked out of our system just because it didn't belong.

Certainly, we can all imagine a life without an appendix but... A life without a cellphone? That's low, man. Seriously. I'm pretty sure a number of you have had their appendices removed with nary a tear expressing your dismay over something that had all of your contacts or all of your messages in it. And why not? The appendix is merely a piece of meat without a function that doesn't compare to the cellphone - that piece of magic chipped away from the future's promise of convergent technologies. Can your appendix do this?

We've all heard praises for the mobile phone and, indeed, there's no escaping its clutches when all of us managed to transform it from a mere piece of fangled circuitry to an appendage more useful than our vestigial structures.

"It's not just a small computer anymore. It's actually a personal, intimate device. Because it's so pervasive, there's just incredible social possibilities", says Ge Wong, and who would argue with that? Our mobile phones have become so much more than just what it originally was meant for. What was merely created for simple calls and texts have now evolved into a huge force which allows us to connect in so many ways. Reflect on what follows as you prepare for what I'm about to say next:

What your appendix does, my Blackberry does better. I bet you'd rather have me stick a knife to your gut and take out your appendix than simply snatch your cellphone away from your hand... forever. Certainly, pain is relative but just looking at the opportunity costs of a lost iPhone and a lost appendix makes me teary-eyed. Take my appendix instead! Please, please, please.

This just in: an appendectomy to save your life from the evil that lurks behind the mischievous appendix costs around $9,000 to $30,000 in the US. An iPhone purchase to save your life from the evil that lurks behind the mischievous threat of isolation costs around $99 to $299++ in the US. Which would you rather have?

I'm guessing the score's at Cellphone infinity, Appendix 0. And why should this matter? One reason: every bit of consumer out there has a higher probability of (1) having a cellphone than an appendix* and of (2) finding their cellphone more (2a) interesting and (2b) functional** than their appendix.

For other views on the matter, check out Eat. Drink. Dance. (Repeat!) by my teammate, Dani.

The little notes:
*Do not EVER quote me on this. I'm stating on assumption and, as a hopeful market researcher, I am against uninformed assumptions such as this. But, for the sake of making the discussion interesting and perhaps, thought-provoking, I leave you with such a statement. As such, the statement is yet to be proven and has no sufficient data to back it up.
**The vermiform appendix is a vestigial structure much like the male nipple: it's there but it does not have much use for the person who has it. But, then again, certain researches have come to provide alternative perspectives on the matter as it touches on the appendix's possible secondary functions which could potentially save the appendix from the derogatory labels "useless" and "utter waste of good flesh".

Photo Credits:
[.] My Little Appendix by *venkman-project

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