A year of change, no more paper POS

There is alot to get excited about in 2010. Leaving aside the forthcoming: iSlate, Winter Olympics, General Election and World Cup. The world of marketing communications is facing so many cool opportunities.

Take booze (if the last two weeks were not enough) iPhone apps are showing the way to a whole new way of communicating the subject. With permission based services, pretty soon most drinkers will be able to be spoken to at point of purchase, whether ontrade or off. I keep banging about augmented reality, the over laying of digital information with real world locations. But this and other developments in location based services will change everything by 2012.

The trick is for brands to offer consumers real value and not rush into AR or Apps just because its new. The Stella Artois bar finder is a good example of a top idea rushed out far too soon. Some where between the richness of content in Diageo's malt matcher crossed with the AR capabilities of William Grants Spirit Shelf would be very neat. Especially if you could add social functionalty like a twitter finder or bar capacity into the mix. The app market changes by the day so all links to itunes/blackberry/Nokia app stores.

What's intriguing is once a consumer starts using the application and agreeing to hear and see what a brand has to say (in exchange for further content) Thats when paper POS really becomes redundant. I really like the Smirnoff backed Time Out guide to London as an example of the early days of this technique. 

For the drinks industry with all its legal and social issues. These new channels offer real detailed segmentation. The fact the NHS have a rather neat consumption tracker app is also a sign this channel will be key.