August 14, 2014
Confusing Gadgetry With Behavior
Today's post is a follow-on to a post from a couple of weeks ago called "Technology And Consumer Behavior"
When I was a kid, I wore jeans.
Now that I'm a thousand years old, I still wear jeans.
I don't know how the jeans got to the store when I was a kid. Probably some guy went and picked them up at a warehouse. I don't know how they get to the store now. Probably some computer controlled hypersonic drone.
I don't really care. As long as the store can sell me jeans, I don't much care how they get there.
The point is, for the most part, people don't care about delivery systems. They want what they want when they want it. How it gets there is irrelevant.
For example, they want to sit back and be entertained by video. They don't care if the signal comes through the air, or a cable, or the web, or a DVR. Ask them what they're doing and they say the same thing: watching television.
What I'm getting at here is that for over a decade the marketing industry has been confused. They've confused media technology with consumer behavior.
Even though there's been a revolution in media, technology, and communication, consumer behavior has remained surprisingly stable. Of course, there have been some big changes. But a lot of what has changed are the gadgets, not the behaviors.
Consumers are still watching TV for a record amount of time. No one predicted this (okay, maybe one guy did.)
Confusing technology and behavior is nothing new.
Many years ago I was pitching an account. It was around the time that cable TV was becoming an important media factor. At the final pitch, the client ceo said, "We're looking for an agency that really understands cable."
"What's there to understand?" I said. "The signal comes through a wire instead of the air. So what?"
Needless to say, we didn't get the account.