Friday, June 17, 2011

7 Questions Raised by Situational Influence

Can understanding the situation improve our marketing?

Yes, but we've got work to do. 

The concept of 'Situational Influence' was recently shared by Jeff Wilson on the The Social CMO Blog. Using the analogy of solving the 'getting wet problem' caused by rain with either an umbrella, shelter or ark the article makes a good case for thinking about the decision making process based on the situation we find ourselves in.  
The basics keys on Situational Influence…
  1. Situations directly affect action.
  2. Situations rise in priority according to urgency.
  3. Urgency drives immediacy of action
  4. We are oblivious to all of it.
These raise some interesting questions for marketers that need more thinking than I'm incapable of doing today, but its a start of a new to do list.  
  1. Should we be marketing to the situation and not the person?
  2. Can influence be broken down into components that marketing can impact?
  3. Are there dimensions of content that can be combined in various ways to help shape decisions?
  4. Does the weight given one dimension of content differ across need states?
  5. Are different channel, content combinations more effective at one time over another?
  6. How does the fact that interactions occur unseen impact our media planning?
  7. Should we think in terms of helping people choose rather than in specific responses?
What should we also be asking ourselves?

    1 comment:

    Jeff the Sensei said...

    Hi Anthony,

    Great questions and many thanks for your time, thinking, and comment on my post.

    To me situational influence is more about how rather than what, so given that we know that what is the situation, but we all struglle with the how which is:
    - How will they react?
    - How can we influence that action in our direction for mutual benefit?

    Content is absolutely critical; as is simplicity in that content. Again with content, its not what we create but how it communicates. Ranging from style, to words used, to focus, to format (video, audio, text), etc...

    When we begin to identify and align that with situations and then provide easy options for customer action that guide/enable positive resolution, we are directly/indirectly influencing outcomes of situations.

    Its a fascinating, but highly complex subject and happy to have you on the journey!


    Jeff - Sensei