The 3 Boxes

I have been thinking a lot about the “3 boxes” lately. In an attempt to capture eyeballs, the history of the world has relied heavily on the advancement of technologies. Allow me to take you through the technological timeline of visual presentations.

Box #1: The Television I may not have been born yet, but the invention of the television set started it all. Businesses were amazed at the captive audiences that they could target simply by producing a short and simple message about their products. It is amazing how far we have come from that initial point of pure amazement.

Years later, technology enhanced like it always does. TVs improved and so did the media outlets around it. It wasn’t before long that a filter was developed for the TV that enabled viewers to choose what they watched at any time, while having the power to skip over those ever important simple messages about all of those products.

Box #2: The Internet The Internet may not have been created as an advertising platform at first, but the transition was inevitable. There are so many different types of Internet users seeking so many different types of information. It’s evident how the ability to track and break down online activity can prove to be so important to businesses.

However, unlike the television, the Internet was created with a pre-existing filtering system. Through RSS Feeds and the popularity of preference-based applications, visitors now control what they are exposed to online. This means that in a way, the Internet has created its own DVR service.

Box #3: The Cell Phone The third and final visual element of capturing attention is newer and still very exciting. Even today, in 2009, the art of mobile marketing is still being figured out. You see, the mobile phone has become a staple to human activity. Emergency phone calls, friendly text messaging, and even browsing the Internet has become a 24/7 necessity for most people in the world.

Can we expect a similar user filtering in the mobile platform as we did box #1 and #2? The immediate answer would suggest yes. After all, mobile devices are the most customizable component in all of the technological creations thus far. You can block calls, delete users, and manage every aspect of what you see. However, the same can be said for the opposite side of the coin.

Cell phone personalization can make for quite beneficial marketing campaigns. When you receive a text message, how can you possibly avoid it? I know that we will face a myriad of privacy and spam issues during the adoption of box #3’s marketing practices, but along the way, it will be very exciting to see how businesses will leverage such an opportunity to reach potential customers.

The most exciting aspect of all of this banter is that I was only able to name 3 boxes. If you’re at all like me, you can’t wait to find out what boxes #4 and #5 are going to be and what kind of role they will play within our economy.