Mystery in Digital Communications

question-markWhy Matters?

Today while sitting in the sun reading the June edition of Psychologies Magazine I read an article titled ‘Why Mystery matters?’. It provides an interesting insight into Tanis Taylor view of the effect of constantly trying to control, survey, monitor, examine, plan and audit every minute, every moment and every action in our daily lives … what happens … we lose the mystery!

We can explain everything … or at least we try to!

One thing the growth of electronic technologies have most certainly done is developed a world where we try to explain everything … we live in an information age where we can access information at the click of a button if we can’t answer the ‘why’ question to our son or daughter, we Google it! If we feel out of date we subscribe! If we want to know what you are doing we follow you!

What of the Mystery in Marketing?

This is also true in marketing. Like what is happening in our everyday lives, in marketing we are also constantly focused on explaining everything, developing plans and strategies to remove uncertainty and control the impact and outcome of our marketing activities.

Why not just come up with a list of ideas and see what happens? Can you imagine that? Creative – Yes! Full of mystery – Yes! Would we be permitted to do this – NO!

This mindset of explaining and everything is further heightened by the impact electronic resources have and are having on marketing. We have at our finger tips a plethora of electronic resources that help us to collect data on those we regard as our markets – our customers, buyers, consumers – and with data comes a need to explore and profile that data.

Look at the Tesco Clubcard Scheme and the strategic analytical programme put in place by Dunnhumby, the people behind the scheme. They can identify from this data the type of household I live in, the type of lifestyle I lead and provide some explanation of my future purchase behaviour based on what I have purchased in the past!

Armed with this they already know what type of coupon or incentive to send me to intise me back into my local Tesco Extra. Great – marketing is becoming more accountable, measurable and …. my life more explainable!

But what of the mystery of people … marketing afterall has people at it’s centre .. the people who work in marketing and the people and communities to whom we market (or have a dialogue).

If we can measure and observe everything about people, than will this not result in us knowing everything about them?

In addition to the Tesco Clubcard Scheme, Tesco can also monitor your web behaviour what pages on their site you visit, what files your download, what purchases you make online. They can then merge this web usage data with your purchase data from their stores already they are starting to build a pretty good picture of who you are and how to reach you.

Oh and don’t forget your purchase fuel from their service stations, have your car insurance with them and have a Tesco-linked credit card! Are we getting the picture?

« CASE Insights: Exploring Marketing’s Evolution Through Technology »

Leave Comment