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The marketing of information technology, telecommunications and multimedia products must undergo dramatic changes as businesses enter the 21st century, and these changes should target consumers who are uncertain about new media's significance.

This conclusion comes from the recent Technology and Tradition survey conducted by TBWA International's newly created Department of the Future, Amsterdam. The study, a joint project with TBWA Chiat/Day, covered more than 2,000 homes in 30 countries in Europe, North America, Asia and Africa.


Among its findings is confirmation that multimedia technology remains a niche market, focusing on highly educated consumers and high-income households.

To gain significant shares of the business, marketers need to improve efficiency in targeting users in the fast-growing IT and multimedia sectors, the researchers found.

"The most interesting marketing challenge we'll face with our clients as we approach the millennium is the convergence of IT, telecommunications and multimedia markets," said Ira Matathia, president of TBWA Italy, Milan, and managing director of DOF.


DOF executives urge ad agencies to regularly analyze trends in new-media products, including big-screen TVs, CD-ROMs and

Internet access providers, to effectively serve the needs of advertisers.

"Only by continually studying consumer attitudes and behavior with regard to new media and emerging technologies can we help our clients better connect people to their brands," added Marian Salman, a DOF director.

The TBWA study also calls for caution, because the general population remains skeptical about new media. For example, 83% of the study's respondents believe composing music will always be more important than writing great computer software.

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