Sometimes working on getting more face to face time in is easily done. Instead of emailing or texting a co-worker, get up from your desk and go chat with them about what is happening in the office. Make a point to get together with a friend for lunch and request that it be a cell-phone free date. In a small business environment, having a face to face meeting with your employees to chat about what is going on that day, week, or even month can help to facilitate great conversation. Instead of being short and to the point, like an email or text message would be, this gives employees an opportunity to share and discuss ideas organically.
Personal communication technologies such as smartphones are playing a huge role in the end of mass communications. They are often worn on the body. They are highly individualized and they are regarded as extensions of the self. They make us individually addressable, regardless of where we are. Putting this into context, a mobile phone today is in the possession of the average user for 5,840 hours per year. That compares to the 2,920 hours the average user in developed markets spends in front of a PC and the average 1,865 hours spent watching television.
It sounds like the opening line of a corny joke. What would happen if an anthropologist, an innovator, a neuroscientist, and a social media marketer got together and decided to create a brand marketing campaign? Would it be chaos or next level marketing at its finest?
Looking at a message and trying to achieve the same communication in each object or screen is increasingly myopic. Context is critical because more and more our attention is split between distinct activities in more than one device. It’s about in which object the message is viewed and its timing, because we have different mindsets in different moments. Object goes back to understanding culture, because throughout history the objects we choose have always defined us, while timing relates to utilizing our constantly evolving understanding of the workings of the human brain. In traditional marketing, the belief was that the human brain is only capable of processing so much data and can be overwhelmed when too much information is thrown at it.
To be most effective in social media, it is helpful to think of its components as forming a cube, with social and media as two of the sides. The additional sides of this cube are object and timing. In modern society, we choose to have our objects define us. In other words, objects such as cars, houses, iPads, etc. define who we are as much as our actions do. “We buy watches not just to tell time, but to have a good time. We buy sunglasses not just to see better, but to be seen.” explains Debra Kaye an award winning innovation expert.
Social media has forever changed marketing and business. I believe it’s for the better. I’m calling this era a brandvolution, because it’s time for customers to naturally select what brands will survive based on who a brand is and what they stand for. As a result of these new and inexpensive social tools, businesses are jumping onto social media as means to communicate with their customers and create awareness. But, thanks to social media, the conversation between businesses and customers has become a two way street. Today, businesses are not the only ones building the brand’s message, customers are too. Customers are either talking about how much they love a brand or how the brand has disappointed them lately. Regardless, the truth is getting out for the world to see.