Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Cyborg Anthropology and Marketing

What will we attach next?

At TED Women in late 2010, Amber Case made the point that we are all cyborgs because we're using technology to create or adapt to new environments. The ideas behind the cell phone glued to our ear and a pair of Google Glasses on our head are no different than what the science fiction writers dreamed up decades ago.  However, the key point is that technology isn't used to modify our physical self to be stronger, faster, or immortal - but rather for the first time it extends our mental self across time and space thus making us more human.  

This brings us new challenges:
  • We aren't slowing down so have no time for reflection and as result are losing the ability to create 'self.'
  • We are reinforcing a dependency on technology to remember for us where everything and anything is. 
  • There are now parallel and simultaneous timelines as each device, screen, and application supports varied asynchronous schedules.

So, how can marketers help people deal with alternative selves, panic architecture, and ambient intimacy?
  • Guide us thru this digital adolescence that is defined by competency and understanding rather than age.
  • Facilitate introductions and methods that make us more connected to those with shared interests.  
  • Serve only relevant and interesting content that satisfies our shared needs.
If the digital world creates wormholes that allow consumers to bend time and space to connect then marketing must drop the linear notion of a funnel.

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