Multimedia Centers: Migrating From the Family Room to the Garage

Automobile multimedia centersConverseon’s Craig Daitch, writing in Advertising Age magazine, is claiming that Ford Motor could be the next media company.

What does that mean?

It means this: Today, the most well-equipped media centers may well be the ones found in your car. What’s being featured in car showrooms are vehicles that contain everything from portals for laptops to smartphone-enabled screens … satellite-enabled geo-positioning systems … high-definition and/or satellite radio … even televisions.

The reality is, the home is no longer the exclusive domain of all of these collective media. The automobile is a multimedia hub as well, which means that any medium that was once reserved for in-home consumption can now be experienced in cars – on the go.

What are the implications for marketers? For one thing, merchants are now closer than ever to closing the gap between in-store and out-of-store marketing. Now, marketing messages can travel along with the target audience … right into the store parking lot. Messages reach their targets that much more effectively when cars are taking them directly to the point of purchase.

Sure, outdoor billboards and broadcast radio have played a role similar to this in the past, but never to the same degree as delivering an electronic coupon or alerting the consumer based on locational tracking.

Up to now, mobile media were limited to devices such as cellphones that could be unplugged and personally ported by users to different locations. Going forward, it’s the plugs that are mobile … and essentially any medium is now a mobile medium when it resides in a car.

It’s an intriguing twist that has vast implications on tactical marketing as we look to the future.

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