My kids and I are huge fans of the show Brain Games and the show’s host, Jason Silva. I recently saw this YouTube video by Jason where he touches on this being the age of the empowered individual – a topic very close to the heart of marketing. Jason talks about the upside of marketing and proves he is an optimist like me.
Jason thinks targeted marketing might not be such a frightening concept. He wants his digital footprint to be used to persuade him. Here is [my best attempt at] the transcript of the brief (1:17) video:
There’s a lot of options out there. We’re kind of flooded in media. If I’m bombarded by a million things, none of them are gonna be meaningful to me. Probably not gonna be persuaded by anything. I’m just gonna be overwhelmed. We’re walking around with these supercomputers tethered to our pockets that quantify and measure everything we do. What we like, where we go. what we’re about. We check-in on Foursquare. Or we hit like on Facebook. We tweet about what we’re doing and where we are. And so what happens is companies all of a sudden have this increasingly more well-rounded insight or picture of who each of us are. And some people get scared of that?
But I actually think its interesting because it means we’re no longer just a demographic. We move into a world of engineered serendipity. And I think that’s very interesting. I want to be persuaded by things I’m already fascinated by. The consumer is not a dope to be duped. I think the consumer is the toughest market disciplinarian there is. And I think their decisions every single day: what you click on, what you chose to watch, what chose to do after you watch what you watch is what sets the tone. I think it’s the age of the empowered individual.
In a recent Forbes article, SAP‘s own Vivek Bapat, Vice President, Portfolio Marketing, explains how knowledge is becoming the ultimate currency. He also talks about the potential of the empowered individual based on our access to information and the ubiquity of mobile devices to uplift entire societies and to challenge repressive governments.
In a follow-up article, Vivek defined what the empowered individual means for the future of business:
For generations, businesses have defined “customer” around the idea of “I produce, you consume.” No more. Increasingly, leading organizations in both the public and private sectors see customers as the co-innovators for their products and services. Many are now using social, mobile and cloud technologies to include customers to contribute ideas, co-design, and co-manufacture new products. This strategy is paying off.
I see no end in sight to the opportunity for the customer-centric business to forge stronger relationships with their customers through better individual empowerment. I think this is good for all of us as employees, as consumers and as marketers or business people of any kind.