Some select and excellent versions of our species can mobilize the mental power to switch off their devices and the outside world for specific intervals during the day or even for extended retreats. However, I am incapable. In fact, the majority of us are addicts of our devices. This is why the mobile phone has sometimes been described as a “digital cigarette”; addictive and unhealthy.
Studies suggest that the device addiction can lead to deterioration of our short term memory and in the capacity to solve complex challenges; a reduction in our ability to relate efficiently to multi-tiered topics alongside contributing to our stress level; or it even weakens our faculty to form human emotional ties.
As a marketer that is good news because consumers are always exposed and reachable for marketing messages. Right?
A Philosopher could argue that the marketing profession faces the Moral Predicament of exploiting and potentially worsening an addiction by constantly intensifying the flow of marketing across all possible touch points 24/7/365.
But then again, most marketers would probably say that marketing is the business of making money more than the business of improving the mental health of consumers? I believe that the end-game for brands is combining “Good” and “Business” e.g. as exemplified in the world’s biggest turbine maker Vestas’ WindforProsperity or Danske Bank’s Financial Literacy program. Also investment funds such as Voluntas are emerging which focus solely on meaningful investments with the credo that "the value of money depends on the way in which it is earned".
But this is a tall order and if you think it is unattainable what is a interim second best?
If “Good” behavior is a stretch for most Brands, a first step is to show "Respect" for the people we live with — online. We do that by treating each consumer as the unique human he or she is by providing relevant, personalized content to consumers over time. Note, it is not tantamount to more marketing, it means the rightmarketing where your dialogue with the consumer is enlightening, educational and/or functional and thereby becomes a utility to the consumer. To add to that, just because brands have the power (money) to bombard consumers with generic content and through sheer force impose themselves on consumers, does not mean they need to or should be.
At Vertic we try to be Respectful. To this end, my co-founder of Vertic Sebastian Jespersen has coined a new marketing paradigm with Stanley Rapp: EntangledMarketing™. It stipulates that we should bond with customers in a way that mirrors the inseparable and sensitive link between particles in the quantum world. This link is called Entanglement within quantum mechanics. By being relevant, personal and ultimately adding an value-added service, we create an enduring, mutually beneficial relationship, rather than a forceful and transactional interaction. We call it Earning Share of Life. For the details, you might want to read the book or go to the website.
People no longer go online. They live online. Digital addiction rules and in our contemporary era, this means an entirely different business model is needed.