Sunday, November 28, 2010

The behavior business.

What will people think? Will they even notice? Will they want to connect?
As this Tech Crunch article points out, digital serendipity is less about magic and more about science. But, there's a fine line between meaningful connection and creepy assumption. (And yeah, Facebook and Gmail-targeted advertising, you know what I'm talking about with the latter implication.) 

So if we rely on former audience algorithms are we allowing for future evolution?
In research groups, and in general, there's something called the 80/20-percent rule. 80-percent of your audience should love an idea, and 20-percent should be challenged by it. If you try to please everyone, you'll end up with diluted mediocrity. (And hopefully, for your sake, you're not only presenting to the 20-percent. Tough room.) 

Misbehavior leads to opportunity.
I'm not condoning bad behavior here… no crazy egos or blatant obnoxiousness please. (Unless it's funny). Just because things have always been done a certain way doesn't mean that's the way you should be doing things. If you consistently deliver safe work that's on-brief, under-budget, and on-time – chances are, no one will remember. In the long term, that's more costly for your career and your client. In an environment that's filled with noise and content, you have to be a little disruptive and a lot relevant.

"I don't want people who do the right things. I want people who do inspiring things." – Bill Berbach
We need to be brave, for our brands.
Jed Hallam brilliantly confronts the Fast Company article that spawned numerous related 'digital is scary' and 'we are all going to be run by robots' articles. The truth is, advertising is about connection. How we connect will always be based on the core idea, not the technology used to deliver it.

So stop worrying about the robots, for now. 
Inspire behavior. Focus on authentic connection and brand serendipity will follow.

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