Early in 2011 Newsweek published an article that argued the human ability to make decisions was threatened. “Twitterization”, as the article referred to the phenomena and as theorized by the Center for Neural Decision Making at Temple University, suggests that as human beings consume increasingly large amounts of information, there is a very real potential for people to pop a kind of “mental circuit”, rendering us unable to make a decision.
This mental circuit, which is located behind the forehead in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, a region of the brain responsible for decision making and emotions becomes overwhelmed and crashes. What follows are mistakes, poor choices, frustration and anxiety. So much for the good old days when you just checked Kelly Blue Book to be sure you weren’t getting ripped off.
These days, as we all know and can attest, consumers are conferring with numerous sources of information in the quest to become educated, thoughtful buyers. In fact, in the 18 months since that Newsweek article published the number of information sources utilized to make every purchase decision has nearly doubled. Suffice it to say, it doesn’t look like salesmanship at the store-level is going to return anytime soon.
From search engines to social media, aggregate sites and review sources, we’re slicing and dicing our way through the fog of limited time opportunities, low OAP financing, scratch-and-dent-time-sensitive-inventory-liquidation messages that have become the tired old mantra of traditional media, to find whatever real value lay beneath.
Unfortunately, it seams, we just can’t take it. It’s no wonder, really, in the age of “information fatigue” that review sites such as Angie’s List have become so popular. When consumers become unable to distinguish fact from fiction or truth from creative messaging, relying on the testimonies of others who have already “been there, done that” and survived to tell the tale is a nice safety net.
But really, where does that leave brands, corporations, local companies and marketers who want to separate themselves from the rest of the pack and distinguish their own unique value proposition to a targeted consumer base? When a solid plan for Outreach and affective Lead Positioning is already in place, the final necessary element becomes clear. What marketers are really missing, the thing that sends all of those consumers scurrying around, combing through resource, after resource, after resource, is credibility. As far as consumers are concerned, you just don’t have any.
In the face of such terrible mistrust, what can marketers do? The answer is, keep it simple and work with publishers who can help build credibility. With seven out of every ten transactions being influenced by digital research, marketers need to align themselves with reputable, credible publishers and provide simple, direct, value driven messages to consumers that make the decision making process as easy as possible. In other words, while that network buy might offer low CPCs, and while those 52 monthly Social Media campaigns might have sounded like a good “engagement” idea at the time, you’re not helping your cause.
Credibility and simplicity. As Twitterization wreaks havoc the decision making process do yourself a favor and remember KISS. No, I’m not talking about Gene Simmons. Just Keep It Simple, Stupid.