Marketing and Communication

Want to know where digital marketing is going? Follow the communication trends.

For example:

Mobile phones initially only had text messaging and ringtones. Advertisers found both.

Then smartphones emerged with rich messaging (emojiis) and apps (Instagram/Vine). Advertisers followed.

Now everyone has a smartphone with multi-media messaging (gifs, videos) and several messaging platforms (Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook). Notice that apps outside of messaging apps have fallen away. Advertisers are currently trying to understand how to ride this wave.


Music to My Ears

Music affects the emotional centers of our brains, sometimes leaving deep grooves we can reference in the future to feel how we felt when we first heard it. Music works like language does to communicate with the listener - basically sound and dynamics - and even synch with others.

From the Greater Good on why we love music:

“If I’m a performer and you’re a listener, and what I’m playing really moves you, I’ve basically synchronized your brain rhythm with mine,” says Large. “That’s how I communicate with you.”

"...when people listen to unfamiliar music, their brains process the sounds through memory circuits, searching for recognizable patterns to help them make predictions about where the song is heading. If music is too foreign-sounding, it will be hard to anticipate the song’s structure, and people won’t like it—meaning, no dopamine hit. But, if the music has some recognizable features—maybe a familiar beat or melodic structure—people will more likely be able to anticipate the song’s emotional peaks and enjoy it more. The dopamine hit comes from having their predictions confirmed—or violated slightly, in intriguing ways."

Snap Decisions

Research highlighted in the NYTimes shows that we can overcome our natural tendency to jump to conclusions or make snap decisions by pausing and thinking through our reaction. By doing so we can actually re-wire our responses. "Snap decisions can be important defense mechanisms; if we are judging whether someone is dangerous, our brains and bodies are hard-wired to react very quickly, within milliseconds. But we need more time to assess other factors. To accurately tell whether someone is sociable, studies show, we need at least a minute, preferably five. It takes a while to judge complex aspects of personality, like neuroticism or open-mindedness."

Our automatic responses are so insidious that we often don't even notice them. "...viewing a fast-food logo for just a few milliseconds primes us to read 20 percent faster, even though reading has little to do with eating. We unconsciously associate fast food with speed and impatience and carry those impulses into whatever else we’re doing. Subjects exposed to fast-food flashes also tend to think a musical piece lasts too long."

But all hope is not lost.

"If we know we will overreact to consumer products or housing options when we see a happy face (one reason good sales representatives and real estate agents are always smiling), we can take a moment before buying. If we know female job screeners are more likely to reject attractive female applicants, as a study by the economists Bradley Ruffle and Ze’ev Shtudiner shows, we can help screeners understand their biases — or hire outside screeners."

In matters of judgment, it seems, it pays to slow down.

The Downsides of a Blog

I had to laugh at this recent NYTimes article. I have definitely been thrown for a loop when meeting a date who has googled me. One fella shook my hand, sat down and proceeded to reveal that he had done an extensive search online. Since then I've learned to say, "Sounds like you've got the jump on me, now it's your turn. Tell me about yourself."

My blog is personal but it's definitely not the whole story. For that, well, you have to get to know me. :)

The Magical Number Seven

1. According to "The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two," a paper published in 1956 by Princeton professor, George Miller, humans can only handle about seven bits of information at any one time.

2. Communication gurus encourage us to limit the number of points we make in our communication, e.g., our emails, our presentations.

3. In fact, three points is said to be ideal.