Since it’s the beginning of a new year, a lot of people are giving predictions and forecasts about what’s going to happen next.
My brother-in-law Micah (whom many of you know from Push Button Marketer, and from my helpdesk) showed me a video recently that I’d like to share with you. It was filmed almost a year ago at the 2010 D.I.C.E. Summit, which is basically a conference for video game developers.
Before you watch the video, I want to mention a couple things…
From my website analytics, I happen to know that the readers of Eric’s Tips tend to skew older than 45 years old, and in fact many of my readers are over 65. I guess my “old fashioned” family values, and methodical teaching style appeals more to that generation than it does to today’s youth, and that’s OK.
That having been said, I think the following video will give you some great insight into the psychology of today’s market and marketers. If you’re someone who is out-of-touch with the video game generation, it contains some especially important concepts for you to grasp.
If you’re building a business in today’s market environment, these are things to consider. Here is Jesse Schell, who is a video game developer and professor at Carnegie Mellon University:
Here are a few thoughts and points I’d like to highlight…
Schell does a good job explaining some of the psychology behind it, and how it’s used to make money. But one thing he did not mention is how our kids are being CONDITIONED to buy online. Within weeks, I could see how all of these “points” and virtual dollars were affecting how my kids viewed money. Pretty soon, $400 was no big deal. It was just a number to be spent at the Webkinz store on some virtual furniture for the virtual avatar of their stuffed animal.
As Mr. Schell demonstrates, using “real” and “authentic” is currently a hot trend in marketing, and is working well. But a few months ago, I changed my tagline, because I’m anticipating what I believe will be the next trend of authenticity, although it may take years to get here.
In my opinion, as the “authenticity” trend becomes oversaturated by marketers in all industries, eventually it will not be enough to say you’re real. Instead, you’ll have to BE real. So instead of saying I’m a “real” marketer, I’m just going to say what I am, and let you be the judge of whether I’m real.
Perhaps that’s idealistic of me to think that way, but I think it coincides with the sentiment of today’s youth. They’ve been burned a million times by those in their parent’s generation who say one thing and do something else. They want someone to speak and live the truth.
Now, here’s a little tangent, in which I may or may not contradict myself, depending on how you see it…
I am NOT saying that I think good will soon triumph over evil in the marketing world. To the contrary, human nature will continue to prevail, and unethical marketers will prosper (from a business standpoint).
When I posted recently about me-too marketers, the feedback in the comments was overwhelmingly negative regarding the marketing practices I was analyzing. There were calls for boycotts. Yet those marketing practices are showing no signs of slowing down right now.
So I do not predict that the pendulum will swing to the side of “ethical” marketers. For now, it may swing toward the side of those who SAY they are real and ethical. Unfortunately, many of those are the least ethical of all.
But while unethical marketing will prosper until the end of time, it appears that the path has been paved for truly authentic marketers to prosper too. If you’ve got what’s “real”, the market will be looking for you.
As always, you are welcome to post your comments below.
Have a great day!