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This article is about marketing information and communication technology (ICT) products and services. Can you think of a more exciting subject? I doubt it. Even after the end of the well-famed Internet bubble, new technologies are still fascinating to us all. The Internet is now part of our everyday lives.

First and foremost, one should endeavour to define ICT Marketing. What are such technologies and what is their scope? Where do they begin? When do things cease to be ‘technological?’ What are the boundaries of ICT? These questions may seem trivial but they aren’t. A refrigerator is anything but ICT and that’s for sure. But an Internet-enabled fridge, which enables you to order more food automatically from the supermarket next door, certainly is ICT; besides, with an in-built service capability.

Figure : Sony PCW1: Is a TV set or a PC?Likewise, all consumer stereo and TV products are not part of ICT, but what about Apple’s iPOD, Sony’s net MD or the Vaio PC-W1 which is a true media centre gathering a hi-fi, a TV set and a computer all in one appliance. Similarly with modern motorcars: are they still mere vehicles or have they become incredibly sophisticated and desirable technological objects?

To begin with, should we talk about technology or technique or even technicality? Isn’t technology a little grandiloquent a word for what is in fact a suite of technical products or services? Isn’t it a sign that we confer an almost sacred status to whatever is the fruit of our most advanced techniques? Perec had already pointed out the importance of objects in our lives in his book entitled Things [3] but our society has taken that to the extreme. Thus, behind technology, isn’t there a twinge of modern times ‘mythology’ as the consonance would lead as to believe?

Such thoughts are casting a different light on the subject of marketing of ICT products. The paramount importance of fashion and trends – mixed up with that post-modern passionate quest for immediate authenticity – is key to the understanding of our environment. Such contradiction in terms is best experienced when looking at the websites designed by anti-globalisation movements (cp http://www.left-links.com/global.htm) therefore proving how much such movements are in their turn using globalisation as a tool for promotion.