Have you ever been online researching a topic for work and then somehow 30 minutes fly by and you’re deep into a far-flung article, two or three times removed from the original topic? There is a scientific term for it:
Gone are the Mad Men days of consumers dutifully eating up marketing messages served to them on a silver platter. Today’s consumer is in the driver’s seat. But the real challenge for marketers is how to navigate consumers in the right direction and willingly engage with their brand.
This is especially difficult when the road is littered with distractions that, ironically, we created? In Don Draper’s day, the average consumer saw 500 ads a day. Today, that number is as high as 5,000 with no shortage of boilerplate info-graphics, whitepapers, blogs, videos and microsites vying for consumers’ attention. Couple that with a serious case of device ADD and complex B2B messages – it’s no wonder that today’s marketer has trouble making connections that translate into real business value.
No marketing channel is free of Marketing BS. And, as this parody beautifully points out, video can be one of the worst offenders.
Article was originally published in Boston.com's Global Business Hub Blog on Feb 20, 2014
“Built around best-in-class, commerce and industry solutions, we offer the most complete, cloud-enabled customer experience solution in the industry, creating a streamlined, efficient environment where companies can definitively differentiate themselves across all channels, touch points, and interactions…”
Go ahead and admit that sentence made you glaze over. Did it tell you anything you needed to know about a product or service? Nope, not really – a classic scratch your head and think “huh?” moment.
Did Someone Just Say - "101 Years of Gamification"?
That's correct. Just like like the shock some of our younger staff members experience when we show them that many common Direct Marketing techniques preceded the internet era, "Gamification" itself is something that preceded the digital era as well. While some might put the start of it all with the Boy Scouts awarding their badges from 1911, we think a more deserving start point would be the introduction of "A Prize in Every Box" of Cracker Jack's in 1912. And as we will show in our next article, pyschology demonstrates how we are wired to respond to these techniques. For today, we will talk a bit about how those techniques have been deployed and mastered over time.
When you hear the term gamification you probably think of Xbox or Angry Birds or Grand Theft Auto. I think of "addiction" - or the impulse to keep doing something because you subconsciously like it. Research has shown that we are all born with a desire to play games. It’s wired into us. Brands can take advantage of that desire, not by creating games, but by using “game mechanics” to drive certain desired behaviors.
If I had to pick, I would tell you that I’m more of a left-brain thinker than right. I was ready to dive into an art degree in college when the practical side of my brain told me that I had a better sense for business. But I’ve always had a passion for the arts, which has put me at odds with this polarization. Knowing vs believing. Reality vs imagination. Words vs images. Where do I belong?