There are few emotional needs in humans more important than the sense of belonging. We all want to know and feel that we are in the right place, position, relationship, occupation, etc. We have that inherent need to want to feel complete.
We cannot get to that realization, though, until the rest of the base needs (food, shelter, safety) are taken care of.
Advertising and marketing have little effect on people until the base needs are satisfied. Yes, if one is literally so hungry that it doesn't matter what they eat, listening to or reading an ad will provide very little additional information.
The digital age is beginning to see that the people regularly on and active are not hurting too much. If you are in the United States and have a laptop and a smartphone (or a laptop, smartphone, and tablet) things are going okay for you. That person is not wondering how they are going to get a roof over their head.
But what about those who have "more money than time"?
CNN did a story about a brand-new social network, Netropolitan, that is catering to the affluent market. To register alone is $9,000, and it has a yearly membership rate of $3,000.
But we should not be surprised. There are brick-and-mortar clubs in the U.S that cost much more than that. But instead of the club being in a physical space, it occupies the social media world. It is a shame that the founder is trying to win people over by saying that it is ad-free, because we think that the company could make an substantial revenue stream if it decided to run ad space. Maybe a magazine for their "Jetsetter Meetups"? (We made up the meetup, but they are welcome to steal it).
Will it work? As long as the media doesn't try to attack it, it very well could. With the negative spin that already surrounds it, we doubt that it will get off the ground.
But we'll see.
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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