[Upside] Get ready for b-to-f?

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From: Linda (joelinda1@home.com)
Date: Sat Jun 17 2000 - 12:19:04 PDT

["...others opt for the formation of lanugo (fetal hair) as the
definitive step toward marketability."

Lanugo? Oh, pleeease!
I find it incredible that businesses can be built on Fetal Marketing.



B-to-c's dead; b-to-b's on the ropes; what's next?
Get ready for b-to-f?

Tim Smith, founder of the Stencil Group, a business and marketing
consultancy based in San Francisco, believes the b-to-f market, or
business-to-fetus, may just be the next BIG thing. He's so confident, in
fact, he's trying out some new marketing techniques on his pregnant
wife, Diane.

Check out Smith's strategy paper, printed below:

Given the high stakes in e-commerce customer acquisition strategy, it
should come as no surprise that the latest trend in Internet circles is
Fetal Marketing.

Fetal Marketing is just what you'd imagine it to be -- marketing
strategies and tactics designed to reach pre-birth consumers (or PBCs).
Long relegated to such indirect marketing tactics as placing the womb
close to the TV while tuned to PBS, or listening to the dulcet,
commerce-inducing sounds of 'N Sync, Fetal Marketing is moving "beyond
the uterine wall" to provide unprecedented access to an emerging
audience of highly strategic consumers.

According to Forrester Research, the PBC market will reach $6.2 trillion
by 2004.

Recent technological developments in pediatric medicine have increased
the ability to reach the fetus without the need for costly and invasive
procedures. These advances, combined with wireless streaming media
capabilities, have created the perfect channel to the PBC. No longer
must PBCs be limited to such boring tasks as cognitive and physiological
development, they can now opt to catch the latest Disney movie beamed
onto the uterine wall of its expectant mother. And that's just the

"We want to be responsive parents," noted expectant mother Diane Smith.
"If that means exposing our child to in utero banners from Disney and
Nickelodeon, then so be it. Besides, we're very excited about the extra
frequent flier miles we're getting by offering up Junior's pre-formed
eyeballs to selected advertisers. By month nine, we should have enough
miles to fly out the in-laws for the shower."

Privacy Concerns:

One hurdle that remains to be overcome is that of the PBC's privacy.
Pediatricians have long advocated that the pre-born lack the cognitive
ability to "opt-in" to sales or marketing programs. Predictably,
marketers disagree.

"Marketing is a developmental process, as is pregnancy," said Fetal
Marketing guru Matt McAllister. "We believe that in choosing to develop,
fetuses have tacitly opted in to select marketing programs."

The real question is one of timing. Marketers are split on the key
developmental stage at which Fetal Marketing is effective. One camp is
firmly entrenched in the belief that a developed brain stem is a
prerequisite for truly effective Fetal Marketing; while others opt for
the formation of lanugo (fetal hair) as the definitive step toward

"We're going to let the market decide," added McAllister.

PBCs Love It:

One company that has jumped into the Fetal Marketing space with both
feet is online survey company Zoomerang. Zoomerang recently launched a
beta program with BabyCenter, asking PBCs to make the simple choice
between Blue's Clues and Teletubbies. The ability for the PBCs to
articulate preferences about their parents is due in Zoomerang's next

"There's a reason that children become surly and uncommunicative over
time," says survey expert Jenn Wilkoff. "This stems from a child's
inability to express its preferences and opinions at an early stage.
Critical decisions are being made with no input whatsoever from the PBC
-- everything from wallpaper choices, to clothing, to basinets.

Our technology allows your child to make their preferences known."

And besides, she adds, "You owe it to the little snot."


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