MITX: Strategy From Marketing and Technology Innovators

October 30, 2015
October 30, 2015 Full Contact

We had the opportunity to attend Future M hosted by MITX a few weeks back. It was a dynamic mix of marketing and technology innovators, all connecting to guide the way for the future of marketing. We left the conference feeling energized by by what we learned and plan to share a few of the things that really resonated with us in the next series of posts.

So here goes, this first post focuses on some of the strategic takeaways:

1) We Second That Emotion.
While “emotions” and “technology” might not be two words you often see in the same sentence, the two can make an impactful combo when combined correctly. Emotions help organize, rather than disrupt rational thinking for consumers. Think about it – while we may try and rationalize a purchase or our affinity for a brand, at the end of the day it is our emotion that drives our behavior. By tapping into consumers’ emotional cues behind rational behavior, marketers can make a greater impact.

One example of this from Future M was the app, Affectiva. Originally developed as a tool to help children with autism better understand emotion, the app is making waves for its ability to process how all people interacting with the app actually feel. It works by picking up on facial cues, whether it’s happy, sad, confused, angry – and is able to convey how messages are being received. Marketers are now using this technology in focus groups to better understand how consumers perceive advertisements and marketing material.

2) Baby You Got My Number.
It’s no surprise that humans are multi-dimensional. There are numerous rational and emotional drivers that impact the process behind our purchasing decisions. While we can typically identify the rational reasons behind our behavior, often times the deeper-layer, emotional ones are harder to identify.

To try and bring clarity to this, Christian Goy (Behavioral Science Lab) and Amy Solberg dove deep while strategizing to increase donations to The United Way. What they discovered is that there are seven factors that influence a decision, but actually only two per person that are key to moving people to action. When researchers and marketers identify those two decision influencers, they can then segment consumers by these “actionable insights” and tailor messaging that is very specific to what resonates with each person. Now the key is figuring out which two influencers are the ones that resonate with each person.

3) That’s What Friends Are For.
We heard some interesting sound bytes from a panel discussion with five insightful “Generation Z-ers.” As we’ve examined in previous posts this generation lives online and feels as though they’ve become desensitized to advertisements. So what gets their attention? As one panelist pointed out, she seeks out people, not products, when looking for a trustworthy source. Several panelists agreed that when their favorite celebrity or vlogger endorses a product, that piques their interest. In fact, 67% of Gen Z shoppers say they are more interested in “real stories” than ads. In short, even though they live in a digital world, they still crave human connection from marketers.

So what did we learn from this track of content at Future M? Well, it helped to remind us that whether you’re looking to forge a deeper connection with your target audience or trying to engage the latest generation of consumers, it is important to start with a solid strategic foundation – a foundation that explores the connection between rational and emotional drivers for consumers, which just so happens to be exactly how Full Contact thinks about strategy.

Stay tuned for our next post focused on interactive storytelling.

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