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At some point any product can reach maturity in its product life cycle. In the case presented, Neopets can prevent itself from becoming a fad by introducing new product and advertising concepts through continuous development of technological capabilities. As the speed of technological development has increased, intense competitive rivalries have led to a proliferation of new products in the market. By word of mouth Neopets has gained success in gaining the attention of members, children specially. From here Neopets can enhance its promotion by proactive advertising.
Proactive advertising (Bowling, 2006) is being ready with the marketing message when the customer asks for it. Neopets can make itself more useful and sought after by the members and buyers. Given the members’ unique culture, Neopets must invest with real meaning in all their efforts to become irreplaceable. This means that Neopets must help the advertisers and buyers get the maximum benefits from their advertisement and visits to Neopets. It may be assumed that global products and even brands need global advertising.
This is often true.
Global advertising is most powerful if the product image communicated can be identical across countries (Johanssan, 2003). However, global advertisers also need to remember that different cultures and target segments have different receptivity to advertising. Hence, differences and other limitations may hinder acceptability of Neopets from country-to-country. Among these hindering factors are language, financial capability, culture and orientation, specific government regulations etc. For instance, Neopets has English as the primary language.
Although majority of the people throughout the globe understands English, still this leaves a few from not enjoying their membership by reason of language barrier despite their easy access to the internet.
Although translations are being provided so that other Non-English speaking members can email each other. In some low-income countries access to internet are not made very easy. Those who can afford to visit the internet cafes have the chance of discovering the features and the advertisements posted along the Neopets’ website.
While some families and communities have already embraced the several advantages that the internet has offered to education, business, lifestyles, social, spiritual development, etc. others remain conservative so as not to be influenced and be lured further. Given these differences in acceptability, Neopets can still continue with their advertising strategies provided they tailor fit their advertisements from country to country while taking into account each language, culture and orientation of a certain group of people.
Any global management must be aware of these factors and be able to anticipate changes in product opportunities, the product themselves, the product volume, and product mix (Heizer, Render, 2001). Neopets may be competitive in terms of its online advertising as shown in their sales growth. Like any other soaring strategies, it also has it critics. Its criticisms are mainly focused on the influence to the psychological, physical and intellectual being mostly of children.
Children are very vulnerable to the things around them. As such, they are easily influenced by what seem to be enjoyable not realizing the subliminal impact these things may have on them. Those involved in developing children's virtual worlds (Carter, 2008) easily put up totally safe sites from which the extent of commercialization is not made very clear. So that, any commercial alert or content must be made clear to the children. Labeling is important to them.
The practice of winning items or being given prizes on the basis of chance can be accounted as gambling. Through repetitive acts, these transform to a level of mind conditioning and may develop in them the habit of dependence in betting. The same technique on food product advertisement can increase children’s exposure to the product, junk foods or not. Many of the techniques (Lee, 2008) act as reinforcement to the food brand being advertised and likewise capture children’s attention for some periods.
The number of times that children are exposed to junk food advertisement may make children vulnerable to forming a habit of buying and eating junk foods which are obviously wastes being put inside a human body. The children’s exposure time to Neopets competes with their study hours and curriculum activities, thereby, disrupting their pattern of work for academic and overall educational progress. Given these critics explained in the context of the development of children, Neopets must also take equal responsibility and share its concern for social development for the common good of their members and to the people in general.
While the Jewish and Christian group disagreed on the prohibition of any religious content, Neopets must exercise a good balance of advertisement without prejudice to certain groups, including religious, who want to share goodness to humanity. Furthermore, Neopets must take extra effort by building more technological infrastructure in their desire to protect members and specially children from being influenced and lured badly. Today’s generation are enjoying the fruits of their predecessors.
This is the computer age wherein the young and the old can have access to the internet, thereby; exposing them to the trends that global marketing has for them. They can choose to enjoy and improve or be lured to some negative influences. Regardless of these, parents must continue to guard their children and adult likewise. Education and more social responsibility must be the topmost concern for those engaged in virtual business.
Heizer, J. , Render, B. (2001). Design of Goods and Services. Operations Management, 5, 134-136. Johanssan, J. (2003). Global Advertising.Global Marketin,15, 508-509
Online Sources: Bowling, M. 16 May 2006. Reactive vs. Proactive Marketing. 17 Dec. 2008 from http://newsletter. blizzard internet . com/reactive-vs-proactive-marketing/2006/05/16 Lee, J. 17 April 2008.
Junk Food Ads Find Web Home. Campaign for a Commercial- Free Childhood. 18 Dec. 2008. http://commercialfreechildhood. org/news/junkfoodadsfind. htm
Meg Carter "Is this harmless child's play - or virtual insanity? ". Independent, The (London). FindArticles. com. 17 Dec. 2008. htttp://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20080602/ai_n25481884
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