Monday, April 9, 2012

Behavior change.

We are right to express outrage at what seem to be the racially-motivated murders in Tulsa, Oklahoma last week and what seems to be the racially-motivated killing of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. What shouldn't surprise us, however, is the virulence of race prejudice in our country. For most of our nation's history--save the last 55 years--there was little equality in law, in schools, in marital relations, in our government, in the military, in society and in opportunity.

There were some, of course, after the election of Barack Obama who declared that America was now "post-racial." After 200+ years of having differences and/or hatred drummed into us, somehow those had all or would all evaporate.

But this is not a post that's about race.

What it's about is human nature.

I go on websites, review "slide share" presentations from some punditogarch's conference talk and listen to the general drivel about marketing and human behavior, and I'm told the very way people respond to information, share information and generate information has changed.

We are told that no one listens to messages anymore. That the relationship between people and brands has "fundamentally changed," and so on ad nauseam.

Mostly people who say the relationship between brands and people has fundamentally changed create brand websites that demand more work from consumers than commercials ever did and those sites usually get in the way of what consumers really want, which is to be entertained or left alone or given coupons.

Real behavior change doesn't happen due to the advent of a 99-cent app or an angry bird. Or because some modern-day neo-exhibitionist narcissist has posted photos of his kid's fourth birthday.

Change takes time. If it happens at all.

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