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This weekend I went to my local starbucks in studio city.  It was the usual scene of overcrowded tables with laptops (mainly Apples) and people sucking down their $5 latte while surfing the free wifi and working on their screenplay.  I sat there and pondered, “Do all these people really not have internet at home? They are surfing facebook at starbucks?”   I guess since I’ve had to have internet for so long now I figured it was a pretty run of the mill commodity.  Then I also got to thinking: If they are paying $5-10 in coffee to sit here…they could get a high speed line if they do this more than 5 days a month!

Today i read an article in the NY Times about the new digital divide that internet access is causing.  This article just further pushed me to write a post on this topic.  In addition to the lack of internet keeping people off Facebook and YouTube for all us marketers, it has some serious implications for our economy and culture.

This information just furthers the point that when we develop our marketing plans and media allocation we must strategically look at our target consumer and their online/digital behavior.  More and more people have smart phones and internet access through those, but there is still a chunk of the country with limited to no internet access on a daily basis.  And honestly, how many of us are really, truly optimizing for ‘mobile web’? – something else to ponder.

So to close… always leverage data,  consider your consumer and their behaviors, define the end goal and the vehicle to communicate.  Digital is a great world, but don’t alienate those without access.  Remember to think of ways to reach them too (roughly 30-40% of the US)

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