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The high-school psychology lesson about the hamburger as an American benchmark of security and independence has stuck with me. Whenever I see someone hunker down into an amazing-looking burger, I appreciate why they appear so satisfied. Yes, the hamburger is probably delicious, but I know the act of holding that meal-in-a-hand is as empowering as hopping in a vehicle and depressing the accelerator.
Our smart phones elicit those same sensations. Only, our smartphones appear in our hands for a much longer duration than the time it takes to eat a juicy, self-affirming burger.
See the 2002 publication, The Naked Consumer Today: Or an Overview of why Consumers Really Buy Things …By Jan Callebaut, Hendrik Hendrickx, Madeleine Janssens for a breakdown of how consumers meet visceral needs with the things they buy and consume.
Smart phones may not only provide the physical replacement (through IoT, the internet of things) of something self-affirming and satisfying to hold (the hamburger), they also may provide the pleasure center stimulation through their digital impulses and our intellectual interaction with those digital cues.
Remember that Star Trek Next Generation episode “The Game” (circa 1991)? The entire crew–except Ensign Crusher–become hypnotized and brain washed by an addictive gaming device that sent impulses to their individual pleasure centers through the visual cortex.
Proximity marketing done well requires engaging, highly-relevant content while consumer is in environment. But can we become too engaging?
Consumers understand why they reach for their smart phone; it’s a tool. But are smart phone users authorizing their own transportation away from the real world they must navigate? Will a natural balance or a “reset” back to “real” occur whereupon users shift away from burgeoning smart-phone addiction?
Successfully cultivated business to consumer relationships with longevity may require a pivot back to keeping it real.
How do marketers grow relationships that authentically support the customer and their products beyond the smart phone?
And can mobile-exclusive business to consumer relationship have sustaining value?
Taking principles beyond traditional marketing will require a dovetailed approach to strategy matrices that refine traditional marketing tactics with embedment of effective mobile tools.
The consciousness and conscientiousness of approach can keep consumer bases firmly planted and perceiving value in the physical while they hit satisfaction levels through virtual environments in moderation.
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