Why do some advertisements seizes our attention while others go completely unnoticed? Why do Bula di or the Hutch puppy (named Chika) become the spotlight of the public eye?
When advertising and PR is the spinal cord of every modern businesses, hundreds of company die every year across the globe just because their marketing and advertisements fail to draw public eye.
All advertisements and marketing campaigns are done with the sole objective of creating and changing the perception of respective target groups.
This perception is not something which is passively recorded by our senses but an active process that is construed by different layers of the brain. In other words, we see with our brain, not just our eyes. Sense of vision is our most dominant sense and this is the reason why television has had been our most dominant media since decades. It is estimated that as much as 85% of our perception, learning and cognition are mediated through our sense of sight, and over one third of the brain is dedicated to the processing of visual information.
Accordimg to Douglas Van Praet, “perception is not a simple linear process, but rather an ongoing back and forth comparison between expectations and incoming sensory data.” Human brains procreate a model of the world in their minds and compare incoming information to those models. When the reality that we observe or experience fits our expectations, we pull off our defenses and things become unconscious. So when the world is accurately predicted, we no longer need to pay attention to that information and are freed up to focus our attention on something more relevant or new.
Take for instance, the act of learning to ride a motorcycle. Initially we pay close attention to all the details we need to know before riding a motorcyle. Like for example the use of clutch and brake functions. How to switch the head lamp or indicators. How to switch gear at every cross road or road turn. But once we get accustomed to it, the process becomes unconscious. Though we remain cautious while driving but we no longer need to be aware of all the perceptual input or motor coordination required for riding a motorcycle. In other words we dont need to fiddle with all switches and buttons. Again we become conscious when something unusual happens. We draw brakes when the preceding car does so or the road is foggy enough for our eyesight. This however elucidates a very important aspect of marketing: awareness of our surroundings occur only when the things we expect violate our expectations.
In modern world every consumer is accustomed and resistant to all kind of conventional marketing approaches. Every single consumer brain is cluttered with several personal and professional issues. Modern marketers need to declutter such concerns in order to grab their attentions and implant brand significance in consumer minds. Since human minds have learnt to bypass all marketing advances to their unconscious, seeking human attention have become toughest nut to crack for all marketers.
Therefore, marketing approaches which are distinct or stand out from the rest, do successfully violate our expectations; consequently grabbing our attentions successfully.
All Source, Unconscious Branding.
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Is your business facing high attrition? Does performance of your best employee drooping suddenly? Are your employees seeking leave with illegit excuses? Are you getting compelled to atrite any of your old employees on disciplinarian grounds? Then there must be some serious problem lurking high on your business and it’s prospect.
Even though the problems are seemingly diverse but if remain ignored, these problems certainly culminates in irrevocable loss of business and revenue prospect. Hence, no matter what excuses do they give but high attrition, drooping performance of employees are issues awaiting your priority and interference.
Also read: Google HR boss explains the only 2 ways to keep your best people from quitting
I believe that when a good employee leaves a company, he/ she loses a job but the company loses a fortune. My sheer experience in HR and critical analysis of behavioral science vastly substantiate the popular belief- employees don’t leave the organization, they leave their manager/s. Managerial incompetence is the bedrock of high attrition and dearth of employee engagement.
Job role of managers in start up generation is more than that of mere accountants, supervisors or ring masters wielding whip at his employees. They should play the role of a visionary and act as doting guardians to their employees. They should learn to discern good from evil. Hence most effective managers are the ones with deeper understanding of subjects and human psyche. Managers, being the leader should be exemplary performers, motivators and honest influencers.
So what are the managerial flaws which compel good employees leave his/her job or decline employee engagement in any organization? All that I could figure out are as follows:
1) When quality of employees surpass qualities of the manager.
A good employee is not born overnight. Qualities that make an employee good are his/her long nurtured honesty, experience, family values, education, upbringing, insights, hard work, commitment and his past struggles. A credible manager sans ego should never leave a chance to admire those atttributes in others and take lessons from that person, eeven if he/ she is a junior employee. This how effecient managers learn to upgrade his business acumen and governing skills. We should remember that every dignified employee hates to get governed by incompetent managers.
2) Filthy politics in the guise of healthy competition.
The difference between the two are droll. Competitive attitude within an organization is the only attribute desired by both employees and employers. In mindless pursuit of impressing his seniors, managers tend to induce superficially concocted rivalry within organization. The manager gets elated when any of his employees bags incentives, he starts believing his connived rivalry to be the key factor. Whereas its not the rivalry but the alluring incentive scheme which might have driven the employee to excel. Thus making the existence of managers as useless and virulent to the organization.
3) Exemplifying wrong employees
- a) By misrepresentation: Exemplifying wrong employees by manipulation of performance reports. Misrepresentations can be of two ways. Either concocted reports are being escalated to higher authorities or suppressing requisite information from the concerned employee with the objective of deliberate misguidance.
- b) By attitude: Attitude of the manager towards all employees should be equal. Mentoring a team does not mean that the manager should be disgraceful to employees who doesn’t feed his/ her ego. Often its the manager who instigate and drives the behavior of other employees towards the subversive employee. Even sexual advancements by managers at workplaces are crucial factors leading to enormous attrition.
- c) Payment deferrals at random: This problem is mostly common in unorganized industries or mid level private companies. Egoist managers tend to exercise their authority to feed their own ego. Instead of regarding their designation as responsibility they start considering it as an opportunity to execute their obnoxious intentions. Deferred salary is an integral part of any organization which may cause mainly due to paucity in operational revenue. But handling such situation demands honest and competent leadership. Forwarding salary to selective employees at random; irrespective of designation, performance or intent will stoop organizational performance irrevocably.
- d) Ignoring their contributions: A good employee tends to justify himself to the company on basis of his salary but the best employee not only justifies his salary but also justifies the trust adhered to it. Passionate employees always try to look out for ways to improve their productivity and contributions to the company. The additional service which an employee renders to the company should always be recognized and appreciated. They try new avenues to increase prospects of his company as well as his own self. Managers failing to recognize and admire these resources drive the organization to HR bankruptcy.
4) Unproductive, irksome rules and regulations:
During Soviet regime, Maxim Gorky once during a conversation with his friend, V.I.Lenin did express his desire to become an official member of Bolshevik Party. Lenin negated his proposition and explained how stringent rules and disciplines of a communist party might rob Gorky off his free flowing creativity and spontaneity. Till his last days, Gorky never became a member of Bolsheviks.Yes, too much of rules and disciplines can worsen creativity and organizational performance. This is why Google has been voted 150th times for being the best company to work with. Irrelevant rules and regulations worsen organizational productivity more than anything else. Rules are imperative but leaders should know that if needed, how to tamper it for organizational benefits.
5) Myopic management
“Remember, that in 70s and 80s, there were people who negated all possibilities of computer in the process of advocating typewriters.”
Myopic management at present is the greatest threat for global business fraternity. For some myopia is a result of unprecedented accidents while for some its a significant excuse to maintain status quo. Reforms in educational system since 90s has noted a remarkable upsurge in employee workforce. However ascent of leaders with entrepreneurial potential has taken a deep plunge. Most business houses prefer to nurture and exemplify status quoists instead of risk taking leaders. Remember, that in 70s and 80s, there were people who negated all possibilities of computer while advocating for typewriters. In today’s dynamic market scenario, being non- chalant is utterly suicidal. Overtly obsequious employee tends to shirk responsibilities and decisions which may affect status quo of the organization. Businesses fail mostly in lieu of myopic perspectives of their managers. Though these status quoists can also be indispensable part of an organization- only if their job role demands them to be replicators instead of initiators (read managers/ C suite).
It’s clear that managing for the short term comes at the expense of firms’ long-term value. But what can be done to limit this type of behavior? One reason that managers engage in myopic management is that they are evaluated on current financial performance. Often, managers are rewarded for the gains but not penalized for the losses, or they are able to move on before negative consequences transpire. Companies can reduce incentives for myopic behavior by increasing vesting periods and delaying payoffs to departing executives. Firms should also look beyond their current earnings and share prices when setting performance evaluation standards. Consideration should be given to a variety of factors, both financial and non-financial. The non-financial ones need to reflect strategies with long-term value implications. For example, many of the key aspects of a brand’s strength, such as differentiation from the competition or the degree to which customers perceive the brand as relevant to their needs, can be measured through surveys and then linked to compensation. Long-term performance measures will motivate executives to manage with an eye to the future.
Every organization should have effective HR policies to distinguish leaders from bosses. Myopic management are most likely to nurture and bequeath the same stigma to their next line of professionals.
Also Read: Animation, gateway to media industry
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“Call him “Buddha”, he who can refrain himself from this eternal cycle of necessity.”
We all are obliged to this perpetual cycle of necessity. Be it the CEO/ CFO/ CIOs of multinationals or daily wage earners working at construction sites, we all succumb to this eternal cycle. This is what that drives most of the daily consumptions across the globe.
With the exception of those who make their living as purchasing agents or secret shoppers, no one is a professional customer. Rather they are professional engineers, accountants, HR managers, customer service representatives, CEOs or whatever. They are as normal as you and me. They laugh, they cry, they frown, they fart- hence we all are equally vulnerable while buying.
Who buys an Inuit costume in scorching Indian summer?
No, one buys anything but solution to their problems. I need to look good and confident, hence I bought a formal shirt made of imported cotton fabric and a pair of stone embellished cuff links. I’m planning to go for a trek- I need a pair of shoes to withstand the climate and rough terrains, so I should buy one. Likewise, hunger makes us buy food; thirst makes us buy drinks. We do not buy anything that doesn’t align with our own necessities.
So what if we tamper the ambit of these necessity cycle? No brownie for guessing. Results will be outrageous.
So what do we actually buy/ consume?
We consume food, we consume clothing, we consume shelter, we consume internet, we consume entertainment, we consume information, we consume education, even we consume the habit of consumption itself (read window shopping). In countries like India we consume politics and political leaders as well. Personally I believe elections are more like weekly haats (Mandis), where in every five years, people from myriad backgrounds and political communities display their products (candidates) through every possible media to seek our support. Inarguably, for us voters- this is also a form of consumption, guided by our inherent buying behaviour. We trust the candidature as much as we trust the actors (with stethoscope) in a toothpaste commercial.
Who buy, who sells?
“Although we each have different titles and responsibilities in this company, we are really all in sales, we need to think like salesman” – extract from Think like your customers by Bill Stinnet.
Irrespective of our individual designation or industry we work for, we all are both consumers as well as selling agents at the same time. We sell ourselves to buy products and services sold by others. I sold myself at job interviews so that after getting the job I can buy products or services sold by someone else.
Now take a deep breathe and try to recall the last time you came out of a supermarket/ hyperretail without exceeding your predetermined shopping budget.
Yes, the additional expense that you incurred at the supermarket is due to impulsive buying. Lions share of your daily consumption is guided by your subconscious mind. As an advertising professional, I always preferred to appease my customers’ subconscious mind instead of his rational thought process. I bet, knowingly or unknowingly every successful marketing professional does the same. Rational mind restraints us from superficial enlargement of this necessity cycle. It seeks logic over our urge to consume, while subconscious mind negates all logic before buying anything which is beyond our necessity cycle.
So how does advertisements or marketing professionals instigate our subconscious? What are the other influencers that compel us to buy? To know more about consumer behaviour and buying patterns, follow the blog series named Buy-O-Logical.
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If you have read the cover story of Buy-O-Logical, you must be knowing that this blog series is just assumptions, completely based on my own experience and apprehensions as an advertising professional. As the cover title was inspired from the bestseller by Martin Lindstrom, we owe our gratitude to the legendary researcher.
We all know the root cause of consumption is nenecessity, Buy-O-Logical will gradually unravel the mystery that drives our buying behaviour. It will vastly delineate the logic, necessity and societal belief systems which promote consumption. It reveals all possible situtations in which we succumb to our desire for spending. How our friends, family and society instigate our individual buying habits.
This is a journal series based on practical experiences and case studies from large and small business houses. Buy-O-Logical lends an unique perspective to both consumers and sellers about the intricacies and intrinsic logic that we deal with before buying.
Follow our series, get introduced to the unknown “You”.
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Mrs. Mukherjee: “I’m married and a dissatisfied homemaker. Everyday my husband leaves for his job, I invite my ex boyfriend. We spend time together till evening and then he leaves before my husband comes home. I know I’m doing wrong to me husband. Please help.
AS: You said you have a husband who works from morning till evening and a boyfriend who spends hours with you. If you feel your husband is faithful, we suggest you leave him otherwise your are cheating on yourself, your husband and your boyfriend.
Disloyalty has now became an integral part of modern society. No matter how hard we try to hide it behind the veil of liberaty and open mindedness, it is still considered an inhumane attribute in any civilized society.
I conducted a sample study amongst a group of middle aged men and women who happened to be disloyal to their respective spouses at least for once in their lifetime. Inferences drawn from their feedbacks were alarming.
In most cases the reasons were materialistic dissatisfaction leading to physical and psychological emptiness. Consequentialy leading them to the hamletsque juncture of “to be or not to be?”- with their existing partner.
In today’s world where consumptions is a crucial unit of measuring happiness, we tend treat our social relations as posessions, designed to give us happiness and pleasure exclusively. People buy motorcycles or mobile phones with extended warranty in order to maximize it’s resale value.
Likewise, relationships are also coming with an extended warranty- the time we take to justify ourselves before indulging in another affair. Once they manage a good reason and better partner, they discard the old ones, unhesitatingly.
Social media plays a decisive role in instigating the feeling of dissatisfaction which otherwise is the key to promote consumerism. Several studies reported how prolonged time spent on social media reignites our cravings and desire drastically. These desires remaining unquenched for too long affects our psyche and we start looking out for alternate pleasures.
So stop those irrational stories going on in your mind and start loving your spouse like never before. May be he/she is just a victim of this hamletsque dilemma. Share your love and experience. Tell him/her that you care. Share this article to make them realize that love is a beautiful journey and not an option.