“Truth is the new Ad …
… and creativity has never been more important.”
The value and application of evolutionary psychology as well as cognitive, social and affective neuroscience knowledge sources is the next big thing in the marketing industry.
It’s no longer just about the ‘product’ and ‘brand’ experience as it was last decade, now it’s all about the ‘human’ experience.
Specifically I’m singling out the more conceptual ‘psychology side’ of science as most important, and in doing so I’m also down-playing any kind of flat focus on data for data’s sake.
For marketers, the most important information for capture and consideration is the information contained within and directly produced by subjective human brains.
It must be remembered that humanity’s interconnected organic super machine of thought, attitudes, emotions, behaviour and cumulative cultural evolution is the piece of technology that has created all devices and data in the first place.
Despite the obvious overriding power of cognitive machinery in decision-making, a proper, in-depth understanding of human psychology and real-life behaviour continues to be cast aside during the process of creating communications.
The average marketer is still placing their strongest emphasis on rearward-facing “stats” or peer-revered “best guesses”, and in the most alarming cases a toxic combination of both.
Ogilvy’s Rory Sutherland aptly stated recently, “The record of the marketing services community to what seems to be a Copernican revolution in the behavioural sciences has so far been notable by its absence.”
Admittedly this is beginning to change a little, as more marketing exponents seek to embrace the study and application of Behavioural Economics.
However, an over-emphasis on “Behavioural Economics” as a lone theoretical enclave is insufficient and can even be quite toxic – it must be combined with other key areas of behavioural information supply.
Moreover, “Behavioural Economics” itself is undergoing an unprecedented paradigm shift, as the words ‘economy’ and ‘behaviour’ now require their traditional definitions be altogether discarded.
Looking on the bright side however it’s true to say there’s never been a better time to start studying behaviour.
The entire communications game, its players, rules and goalposts are all in a state of flux, and it appears that behavioural science is being ushered in as one of the new referees as it proves its ability to be able to underpin some fantastic creative.
The marketing ecosystem is now a direct reflection of people and changes in the world, thus all communications need to exist in real-time alignment with our rapidly evolving intelligence and identity.
In this light, there has never been a more vital time to understand where we can take the marketing profession itself, and in the midst of the social capital economy how we may need to redefine the profession at any instant.
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