Marketing 2.0

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September 13th, 2009

Welcome one and all to the very first post on my own blog. Now, the whole reason of being for this blog is that of a weekly assignment for a marketing course. The idea is to drill down into the nitty-gritty on a specific point of class discussion and explore these areas to a much fuller extent than that of the class discussions. So what did we touch on in our second class of the year, well many broad things really. How the internet has helped and hindered certain industries, the challenges of distributing physical items over the internet. For example if I buy a car from out of Japan off of eBay. How do I get it over to North America? But when the topic of digital rights distribution came up we touched onto the subject of software piracy and  the question was raised. Why would someone pay $24.99 for a CD when they can just download the whole album that has been ripped to someones hard drive for free. Well the answers where tabled: Guilt, and ease of acquirement. One other point that was touched on  was the role of the marketer. Marketers, as Seth Godin puts it, used to yell and shout at strangers. Basically what he means is, back in the old days the idea was to expose your message to the highest number of people the highest number of times.

Now in todays Web 2.0 era that is not the case. More and more people make online purchases every day and more and more people pirate and distribute software and music either for profit or for free. So what does this mean from a marketing point of view? It means, as was mentioned in class, that we need to direct our attentions towards the markets of one. To show the individual the benefits of genuine software. Software without the malicious code hiding underneath the user interface, and without key loggers taking your information. Microsoft happens to be a leader in this regard. The windows genuine advantage, which allows for proper updating of security risks as it verifies that your serial key is authentic every time you connect to the update site. Also means that your software is properly licensed (which means paid for) as well. Now unfortunately for Microsoft their software happens to be some of the most pirated software on the face of the planet, why? cause it works with just about everything. Now believe it or not this piracy occurs more frequently in developing countries like China and Pakistan. However this does not mean that it only happens in developing countries, for instance there was a case in London where authorities tracked down many architects using under-licensed copies of Adobe Photoshop and Autodesk AutoCAD. This was published in the The Architects Journal a prominent British architectural e-zine.

Now companies like Adobe while quite large don’t generate the kind of capital to track down a prosecute small time software pirates. However Microsoft on the other hand has done just that in Pakistan. Kamal Ahmed, County General Manager for Microsoft Pakistan, has directed a significant amount of Microsoft Pakistan’s resources to fighting software piracy that costs the Pakistan economy a reported $159 million US dollars this year alone. This is according to Umair Moshin a science and technology reporter for Dawn.com, a Pakistani media group. A part of Microsoft Pakistan’s marketing decision, aside from sharing their user databases with authorities, in this regard is the publication of Windows Starter Pack a simplified version of Windows XP. This allows the benefits of genuine software a cheaper prices to compete with that of pirated software. But where does this leave marketers in the future of software development. torn between trying to maximize profits and trying to compete with those that pirate and distribute software for rock bottom prices.

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