Bentley College Marketing- Honors

This blog is for MK 402-H01 and the greater Bentley College population.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

In Person

In Kathy Sierra’s blog post “Why Face-To-Face Still Matters” she discusses a lecture she heard by a neuroscientist at the Conference on World Affairs. According to the lecture face-to-face communication is still very important. People think that because of the rapid spread of text messaging, emailing, and IMing there is no longer a need for real communication in the workplace. However, according to studies, there is no substitute for direct genuine communication. Kathy reiterates that we trick ourselves into think that text is as good as speech and that we can get all we need for the exchange of it, when in reality our brains are not hard wired that way. The point she makes is that text does not have the ability to convey instant information. In a study conducted, babies were put in front of a monitor that featured a person responding to their actions. When the monitor operated on a delay the babies’ emotions and reactions were completely different because they had already moved on in their minds. This is similar to the way email is interpreted in adults. When someone sends and email and then an hour later the recipient reads it and responds, the original sender will react differently in most cases than they would had they had a direct 20 second conversation with the recipient. Another point she makes is that while we can read text we may interpret it differently than it was intended. There is no body language or emotion in text. She then talks about audiovisual communication. Many businesses use this because then you can see and hear what the person is saying as they intended it to be, and there is immediate response. However, the neuroscientist points out that while you are looking at the camera the other person sees you but you don’t really see them, and as a result, the experience suffers. This is related to marketing because when businesses think that they can have a really elaborate website set-up to handle all of their business communications they are missing a critical function of life. There needs to be direct marketing and face-to-face contact. It is not enough for Doritos to feature some commercials on prime-time, and list their website on the bottom of the bag. They need to have people in stores giving out free samples and talking about all the different varieties. People need to walk into a grocery store under a Doritos banner and see the faces of children munching down the tasty snacks.

This informed my idea of marketing because in most of my classes we talk about what the most efficient types of marketing are and how to go about implementing them. This efficiency is usually expressed in terms of cost and time. It is a newer idea to think about the science behind the efficiency of the brain, because it doesn’t matter if a campaign is inexpensive and easy to launch if it will leave potential customers without an essential interaction that they need to really connect to the company or product.

Kathy Sierra is a businessperson under the same constraints as everyone else who has to rely on text-based communications, so she understands the difficulty in engaging in real communication. As a result, she covered the matter in a very real framework. She advocates meeting with peers and clients at least once a year. Kathy says that some direct communication is better than nothing, because even if you just meet someone a few times you will have a better idea of what they mean or are thinking when you correspond with them via email and the like. Additionally, she stresses the benefit of staying in touch in general so as to make necessary communication easier. Kathy advocates including a picture of yourself with emails and posts, and other easy ways to make the communication more real.

Note: This is me.
See? According to Kathy I've already improved this mode of communication a little.


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