Conversation is one of the best tools for customer connection.
This is the reasons why we conduct user and stakeholder interviews, and observe what people say in social networks -- to get to how someone is interacting with products and services as well as the process they use to explain it.
Elicitation and corresponding techniques are an extremely discreet form of information gathering.
The FBI has some material on it on its counter intelligence site to help you understand what it sounds like and what it is generally used to gather non public information. It is the intent that makes this an issue.
Used for less nefarious purposes, elicitation methods are employed to solve problems, for example.
Getting to the truth
Your mileage may vary. What resonates and is relevant to someone, doesn't sound like such a good idea to someone else.
Watch the video [YouTube link], I'm positive you will have a reaction. It has a strong point of view aligned with the brand, the message is straightforward, delivered in a direct manner, yet with a touch of empathy.
3.2 million views and many of the comments say it hit the spot. Up to Bodyform to keep the momentum going now that they seem to have found their voice. I agree with the team at Post-Advertising [hat tip], authenticity would have had the actual CEO on camera.
I just re-read the article in The Guardian about product and place placement in the new and upcoming (and much anticipated, given the long marketing runway) addition to the Bond franchise: Skyfall. The Skyfall's the limit, it proclaims.
It turns out the name's Tom, Tom Ford, as in the suits, or as a clever commenter remarked, Brand, James Brand. Although from the article it sounds more like Bond-ed, as another commenter offered. Now if it only were Armani... then again, it's a game of pretend.
You can already unlock the 007 in you at a vending machine thanks to Coca-Cola.
Entertainment and media still do the heavy lifting in shaping how we make buying decisions, now with the help of our tribe -- friends in the real world, and the people who are also watching and enjoying, or playing with us as it may be, at the time of our involvement.
Why? Because they make the experience fun and immersive, thus removing friction.
Customer behavior while on entertainment
The truth is, even as we'd like to see advertising go away, we still very much rely on it to move the commerce needle.
In September, 181.4 million US Internet users watched more than 39.4 billion online content videos. As comScore Video Metrix report, Americans viewed 9.4 billion video ads, with each top 5 video ad property delivering more than 1 billion video ads; and video music channel VEVO maintained its top YouTube-partner ranking with 48.8 million viewers. [hat tip MarketingProfs]
We might be in a post advertising, world, yet time spent watching video ads still totaled 3.4 billion minutes, with BrightRoll Video Network delivering the highest duration of video ads at 681 million minutes.
Video ads reached 51% of the total US population an average of 60 times during the month. Hulu delivered the highest frequency of video ads to its viewers with an average of 51, while Google Sites delivered an average of 20 ads per viewer.
That's enough watching. The question is what are we watching and is that what everyone else is watching?
Database of intentions
When we examined executing a content strategy for buyers research and evaluation phase, I shared a graphic and related concepts by John Battelle titled the database of intentions.
Battelle recently reiterated a few points made earlier in the year about the evolution of display ads -- if we don't find a better model for figuring out how to deliver value back to the creators of original content "we risk losing the oxygen that feeds the web ecosystem". [hat tip Neil Perkin]
I like where the database of intention was going:
- Query - here's what I want from the Web
- Social Graph -- who I am and who I know/am connected with
- Status Update -- here's that I'm thinking about, what I find noteworthy
- Check-in -- where I am right now, or as close to real time as possible
Putting on our Big Data pants, we can see how location and what I'm doing right now (as in the breadcrumbs of purchases we actually make, things we actually do) is the point of conversion of intent into action.
Action is based on a combination of what we want to do -- the conversation we have with ourselves, our story, combined with what we see others doing -- and where we have the opportunity to do it (context).
Evolution is the operative word.
Connection to opportunity looks a lot like involvement, even if it's only from the comforts of our living room chairs.
Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her for a speaking engagement click here.