It has become trendy to badmouth technology companies as if they were trying to manipulate us into doing something we don’t want to do. Little do we stop to think that machines are just getting better at interpreting the Data of what we already do, and provide insights to marketers to predict our behavior in the future. The hyperconnectivity and the information overload it brings, have turned us consumers, or humans in general, to look for peace in the form of mindfulness, or living in the NOW. Truth of the matter is that to be able to do that requires a gigantic effort, we humans are curious beings and always want to know what’s coming next, what’s going to happen. What are we going to do for our vacations?, What are we going to do for your birthday?, How are we going to afford that?. We may want to meditate and stop worrying about tomorrow, but if blood runs through your veins you most likely have desires, and some may find solace (including me) when creating a roadmap for the future. It provides me a reason to believe. So if machine learning can help me, understand, and give suggestions that are related to what I have become, what I believe and what I am, in the right place, and at the right time, I’m surely going to take advantage of that. The interesting part of this half philosophy of life, half marketing write up, is that I’m not alone. The important thing is that everytime I hear someone complaining that technology companies are spying on them, and are predicting what they are likely to buy, or what they are likely to watch or hear next, should stop for a second and reconsider their position and their contribution to these practices. The algorithm is not an independent being, making decisions by itself. The algorithm reacts to your actions. Yes! Sometimes with some bias from the programmers but there is little we can do about that for now as consumers. One option is to go to a cabin in the middle of the woods and go off the grid, and the other option is to enjoy the process, enjoy the advantages that technology is bringing by facilitating the decision making process when it comes to what actions to take when ready to act upon our desires. If there is something that hyperconnectivity has brought to our advantage, is that the connection between customers and organization has become more transparent and the zero tolerance for “in your face” manipulation will continue to evolve. Yes! Companies will try to sell you stuff, but their models are being optimized day after day to better be able to predict how to satisfy your desires, and discover ways to maintain their relationship with you as healthy as possible. Smart companies are sure to avoid any toxic online chatter if they want to remain relevant. Being toxic in today’s environment just takes a simple mistake, and it could be very expensive.
During my years working in television, I have learned that to be able to be good producer you have to be a good audience member first. To be a great leader in Marketing, empathy is key! Starting with the fact that even the best marketers, spend more time in their life being customers.
STATUS: In the era of hyperconnectivity, don’t be complicit, be aware, and enjoy the ride.