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Showing posts from 2016

Digital Inoculation: Resisting Right Wing's Persuasion

"Fake news” is not going away anytime soon. It will probably just get worse. Trump’s latest tweets are an example of this. And as our society becomes more polarized, we are likely to have more fake news and radical messages spread like forest fire because of social media. And while some people might think that fake news doesn't work, psychology, research, and current events would tell us otherwise. So why is fake news so persuasive and impactful? As humans, we are easily swayed by memorable events rather than facts. And those radical events are easier to remember, real or not. In turn, the more we remember them, the more realistic they become.   Adults, for the most part, are capable of forming their opinions and determining fact from fiction. But what about children? If you are a parent worried about your kid getting influenced by these messages online, what do you do? What is the best way to build resistance to false messages?  Below are a couple of techniques for attitude…

How nice people get corrupted in Facebook?

Mark Zuckerburg said that Facebook doesn’t have a fake news problem and, that even if it did, fake news didn’t influence the outcome of this year’s presidential election. I respectfully disagree with him. Here is why. We gather tidbits and knowledge about everyday life through social interactions with other people. This behavior is a nod to the human condition and need to talk with others as a means of making sense of our world and our place within it. In short, people don’t construct reality by themselves. So where do people go to have these conversations? For the most parts, these conversations happen on social media. Americans spend an alarming amount of time checking social media on their phones. People in the U.S. check their Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts a 17 times a day. That means that at least once every hour that a person is awake, they’re scanning their newsfeeds and interacting with others on social media. As a result, people learn a lot (whether consc…

The Rise of Radical Brands

Social sentiment, ideology, and culture are manifested through different forms of communication, from graffiti to personal style to journalism. Regardless of the means, through communication, we can see how society is growing together or growing apart. In light of recent world events, communications have shown how polarized our society has become, which is made evident through radical messaging. If there is something that we can learn from this year’s Presidential election it is that our country is more divided than ever. We are becoming a tale of two Americas. There is the red state and then there’s the blue state, both with different social, political and economics views. And many of us are left wondering: How do these societal shifts impact brands and the way in which they communicate with a divided country? To stay relevant brands tend to mirror popular culture, which is the dominant share of values and beliefs within society. Consequently, cultural hegemony appears in advertisin…

The New Media Reality

In today's connected world, it's not how much you pay; it is how much coverage you get. This election will probably go down in history not only as the nastiest one but also as the one won by earned "free" media. Hillary Clinton outspent Donald Trump in the airways by a margin of 5-1. Total Clinton camp spent $156 million versus $33 million from team Trump. However, when you add earned media to the mix, it is not even close. According to data-driven analytics firm mediaQuant, Trump received around $5 billion in free media coverage, more than twice that garnered by Clinton. Putting aside the message, we can say that media obsession with Donald Trump helps him get elected. Donald Trump might hate the media, but they are both winners in this election. Trump got more coverage than any other candidate. The media in return benefits from Trump ratings. Total primetime viewership was up 50% from last year across CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, and viewership in the lucrative 25-54 …

Marketing in Times of Trump

Does the message mirror the people? Or do the people mirror the message? Trump won this week. He embraces values that I detest. Americans, at least, the half that supported Trump, did not vote for bullying, bigotry, racism, and violence. I believe that our society is better than that. The vast majority voted against the establishment. They voted for the promise of change that they have yet to see. The sad part is that these are the people, who were more likely to lose from the Trump policies. They might lose healthcare, education, and social services. I am hoping that I am wrong, but past behavior tends to be the best predictor of future conduct. And, Trump has not the best track record. There is a moral to this story, which is the need for empathy in our society. We will remain a divided nation as long we don't put ourselves in other people's shoes. We need to see the world through the eyes of those who are different from us to get it and act. Pete Thiel is right when he said …

The Irrational Power of Nudge Brands

Nudge brands are brands built on interactions, not attitudes. They are mostly defined by experiences, not TV campaigns. They are designed around people's inconsistencies and errors, not for machines. They are simple, not complex. They like to break things into small chunks that are less daunting than big tasks. They focus on changing behavior, not generating awareness and interest. The Paris metro system card is a nudge brand. It is designed against human errors. You can use the card in any direction. IKEA is a nudge brand. It uses the power of personal investment. The more involved people are in creating something, the better they feel about the end product. Ryanair is a nudge brand. It chunks the whole purchase process. They lock you in with a low 'seat price' first to get a mental commitment. Then, they start to add the extra charges in bite-sized 'chunks.' Hare Krishna is a nudge brand. It is built on the reciprocity rule by giving away daisies. People should …

The Engineering of Digital Consent

Today, we build brands through social interactions. People opinions online shape our decisions on what brands should we buy or endorse. 90% of customers said that online reviews influence their buying decisions. Our challenge is that consumers don't pay attention and trust the message coming from brands. So, how do we affect the opinion of others in this environment? In marketing, we spend a lot of time and money creating advertising with the hope that it goes viral. However, most of the campaigns have little influence in today's consumers. Many campaigns have even the oppositive effect, with consumers sharing negative opinions or blocking advertising altogether. Changing behavior is hard. I don't think we have a silver bullet to influence people online, but we can learn best practices from behavioral science to increase our chances. Getting a little better in predicting behavior can make a big difference. Here are four behavioral principles that we should consider when c…

The Economy of Simplicity

In marketing, we have two ways to get people to buy our products; increasing motivation and making things easier. Historically, we tend to default to motivation since it is what we know best. We create communication that hits an emotional nerve to gain a strong association in the consumers' minds. When done right, emotional advertising works even without people knowing it. Customers just need to be exposed to an ad for a period of time. Motivation, however, requires willpower, which is hard to maintain. Anybody who has ever gone on a diet knows this all too well. In the morning, you wake up motivated to eat well, but by the afternoon, motivation hits rock bottom, and you eat up three chocolate chip cookies courtesy of a co-worker. Ease, on the other hand, focuses on giving people the ability and opportunity to take action. We do that by removing barriers or providing the skills to take the desired behavior. Contrary to motivation, ease does not require willpower. Once we removed …

Brand Judgement in a Blink of an Eye

You are probably familiar with the expression; You only get one chance to make a good first impression.  But can people really create an accurate perception of your brand in a blink of an eye? And what does that flash view of your brand mean for your online brand image?   In today's smartphone era, this is the dilemma that brands are facing. People have shorter attention spans than goldfish. Human attention span has lowered to 8 seconds due to digital technology. Most of the consumer interaction with brands happens through social apps. People engage with brands as they scroll through Facebook, look at pictures on Instagram, and watch Snapchat videos - which last for just a few seconds. This poses the question; how fast can brands make an impression with consumers? 

Individuals can make accurate judgments with surprising speed and sensitivity. A balancing view of social perception is that, in regards to time, on one hand we are influenced by context and past experiences, and on the…