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Today I got to see marketing in action. I was at college today and had noticed that there was a new Coca-Cola vending machine right next to an older version vending machine. The new vending machine seemed to have some nice new features. It had the same drinks as the older version (minus a few), a touch screen in which you could pick your type of drink, and even play a game of memory. It played a small video clip explaining that it was made with video for the visually impaired, which included sound and larger font capabilities along with an added cartoon commercial. The first thing that made me look in the direction of the machine was the sound, then I noticed the video screen that was playing. I began thinking to myself, "why would you put a new vending machine right next to an older one with the same selections?" The answer, of course, is marketing research. And what better place to do that research than at a college.  Just then one of the college janitors came in. I asked him how long the new machine had been there for. He told me that it had been there for several weeks now. He stated that the one negative thing about it was that, unlike the older vending machine which would turn it's lights off and reserve some electricity when no one would buy from it for a period of time, this new one never seemed to turned off to reserve any power - that it probably used even more power because of the added features (such as the video). In talking to him more, he had mentioned that even though the game was fun to play, it would have been nicer if you could have won something - such as money off the purchase of a coke or even win a free one! I agreed with him that it was a nice idea. We also had wondered how long it would play the same video and if when the vendor would come in to fill the machine; if he would bring with him the ability of adding in a new video advertising on new items, sales, etc. - perhaps by an flash drive. Or it could be wireless, changed from headquarters.  Either way, it was interesting to see how technology is influencing marketing 

 


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