You see, we’ve come to define ‘social’ in unintentional Orwellian double-speak. ‘Social’ has come to mean the exact opposite of what it’s meant for centuries. Instead of actual interaction and communication, we define ‘social’ as once- or twice-removed ego validation through button-clicking.
'Social' is what happens when someone posts personal information—photos, thoughts, announcements, favorite songs, jokes—on the internet and another person comes along and clicks a thumbs up icon or a star or a heart. If someone’s really 'social,' they’ll even type a comment or reply.
Kids aren’t leaving social networks. They’re redefining the word ‘social.’ Rather, they’re actually using the word with the intent of its original meaning: making contact with other human beings. Communicating. Back-and-forth, fairly immediate dialogue. Most of it digitally. But most of it with the intent of a conversation where two (or more) people are exchanging information and emotion. Not posting it. Exchanging it.
Bailey Lauerman’s Cliff Watson on the evolution of social media—which, following teens’ lead, we increasingly define not as static, interface-based URLs and apps but as straightforward messaging services. Insightful (and funny!) food for thought for anyone who works in the marketing realm!
Anthropology teaches us that in every culture, miniatures possess the power to unlock imaginations. Whether it’s a dollhouse, toy truck, or some other tiny talisman, miniatures look and feel real, but their size gives us the permission to suspend disbelief, daydream, and play.
Remember The Nutcracker? In between pirouettes, a toy nutcracker comes to life, defeats an evil mouse, and whisks the heroine away to a magical kingdom. That, in a nutshell, is the story we implicitly tell ourselves about our miniature computers—one of youth, freedom, and possessing the key to a much larger world.
From the Google study The Meaning of Mobile, which we discussed in a Google meeting at work today
Like the miniature kitchenette or car that unlocks infinite ideas in a child, our pocket-sized mobile phones serve as a portal to possibilities. With our mobile phones in hand, we can experiment with our identities, trying different personas and experiences to find the best fit, and make meaning of the physical world around us, recording and discovering memories that make a place significant.
The best brands will build experience that leverage what mobile truly means to us.
Read on! The promo Chaitanya mentions after the jump is especially brilliant.
Influencing Human Behavior.
At a fundamental level, that’s what Marketing is all about. Think of any marketing activity - right from the branding that you see, the product/packaging/experience (UI) design, the TV commercials, print ads, digital ads, promotions/offers - everything is essentially an effort to change our behavior in a very specific way. Given this, marketing is intricately connected to a number of other ‘behavioral disciplines’ like Behavioral Economics, Psychology, Anthropology, Neuroscience, Praxeology, Cognitive Science etc, and each year a number of research papers are published based on the intersection of one or more of these disciplines with marketing.
One such seminal research paper was recently published by Dr. BJ Fogg, (Stanford University), titled: A Behavior Model for Persuasive Design. Here he posits a simple model by name FBM (Fogg Behavior Model) that delineates 3 factors affecting human behavior: Motivation, Ability and Presence of Triggers.
(Image source: Paper by Dr. BJ Fogg)
In summary, it says, for any behavior ‘change’ (B) to occur, it needs to get the user to an activation threshold, which is a factor of:
- Motivation: (M) Is the person high or low on motivation to perform the target behavior?
- Ability: (A) Does the person have the requisite ability to perform the behavior (is it simple enough to be performed)?
- Triggers: (T) Does it have the necessary triggers to instigate the target behavior?
While motivation and ability can ‘trade off’ (People with low motivation may perform a behavior if the behavior is simple enough (meaning, high on ability), and inversely, people who find a behavior being not so simple (meaning, low on ability) may perform it if they have sufficiently high levels of motivation), triggers can happen only when they are ‘timed’ - i.e. they need to be triggered right at the moment when we have the requisite levels of motivation and ability to perform a behavior. Hence it could be instructive to qualitatively think of this relationship as:
B = m.a.t (at the same moment)
(Image source: BehaviorModel.Org)
While he champions this model as a framework to guide persuasive design of web services, online interaction design etc I believe that it is equally if not more applicable to more traditional instances of product marketing / brick and mortar retailing etc.
Behavioral economist Dan Ariely in the Wall Street Journal essay “Why We Lie”
What motivates people to lie? What holds them back or drives them forward as they make a decision, however suddenly, to lie? It’s like a consumer journey!