I just spent the morning getting my brains bashed in with the German language and my wife gleefully announcing, “Mark, you don’t know all the words!”
“Really? Why do you think I am studying, and studying, and trying and seeming to get nowhere?” It is a great lesson in humility, especially when the reality is that once i learn high German, i get to learn the Swiss German spoken dialect, and “all the words!”
Thankfully i was saved by Google translate where I read a research article from a Spanish man about sensory marketing and the world trying to quantify the qualifyable.
It is funny, a bit like my wife trying to listen to me speak German in that today, much of what the “sense” people are were working on, we were doing 20-25 years ago in the lab. People want more ,“experiences.”
Last night my nephew was asking my wife about 3d vision and sound. So she asked me to explain 3d sound to my nephews, and what the first, second, third, fourth, eighth, and the theoretical of 11 dimensions versus 3d sound, motion bases, tactile and olfactory “illusions” and tricks of science one can do to get the human mind to perceive something at a far reduced cost than actually physically experiencing it.
We never even got to visual systems and lenticulation, holography, domes, VR goggles and how the mind puts together perspective and depth, and how man has figured out how to provide the illusion of 3d. Maybe another day?
This is where we are in the market today. You see all these products being put out for many to help quantify his life with wearable technologies, with big data, you have people mining the data and instead of pushing it for new ideas – most is used to rationalize the existence of what they are doing.
A great example is a news photo group paying to do eye tracking research to quantify that photos from a professional photographer that actually understands manual focus, light, aperture and composition – will indeed have more memorable and meaningful photo’s than the majority of the planet walking down the street with a camera phone snapping the billions if not soon to be trillions of images each year.
They have been using eye tracking for advertising for I am guessing 50 years. But the photo research simple is the best example of how we are seeing a new world opening up, and the old world is holding on, as it usually does, much like many middle managers in companies who will probably be jobless soon – to quantify
Here is the problem with quantify. Emotions are qualitative, not really quantitative. Experiences are unique and individual, yet, because our technology base is not there yet, we have to construct some sort of a baseline or algorithm pattern to measure and “quantify” what we feel or sense and call it “the perfect (insert whatever item or experience one needs to quantify)”
In essence, this is why I so love the work we do in Augmanity. Because there are about 7 billion people on the planet, and I think we all do want one thing at the heart level, but in our minds we have 7 billion different thoughts and ways we think we need to get there.
In 30-40 years, out world will have the technology to provide the 7 billion variants for people to technically be quantified into “this is perfect” for “that person.”
But, will people really change much?
I have to pull up the problem that was a few days ago, about “the perfect cup of coffee.”
I think the marketing and or scientific community wants to have quantitative scientific data that makes great presentation of facts that say, “Here is the perfect cup of coffee!”
The problem is we are human beings, at times irrational, illogical, and far from perfect in how we walk out our daily lives in actions and behaviors. Of course, we “quantify” ourselves in many ways by what we buy, wear, what auto we drive, location of where we live, our clubs, stuff - the “make-up” of man, that is nice, but you really don’t need it.
Where we are today in sensory research is an exciting time. I used to believe this was the way to go for creating better “experiences” with mankind. I remember when VRML came out; I was so excited at the idea of the “virtual” world one could live in.
After living in that world, I realized it just takes you farther and farther from being who and what man probably was meant to be inside. The technology, while cool, wasn’t going to really help humanity except allow for the movie wall-e to come to life in reality.
What is the perfect cup of coffee?
Is the perfect cup some scientifically engineered extraction ratio?
Is the perfect cup the way one makes it?’
Is it the aroma and smell?
Is it the flavor and taste?
Is the perfect cup the place and how the beans are processed?
Is the perfect cup the grind? Water composition? Speed and rate of pour?
Is it the temperature of the water? Purified? Tap? Ground?
Or is the perfect cup the people, place and space you are in that you drink it?
Such is the beauty of a cup of coffee and the pursuit of the perfect cup - to drink, ideally with others.
Spending time - talking, thinking, or just being still staring out the window. Just "being."
The parts I think many marketing people forget, is that a “perfect” moment in life, is much like a snapshot or photo we were talking about earlier. It is a snapshot, a moment frozen in time.
People want to quantify “perfect” using time. That is more of a qualitative element. Hard to measure, next to impossible to capture in an algorithm because as time goes along, each of us is changing, ideally learning, growing and gaining wisdom via experience in life.
The experiences that are fun and wonderful, don’t really teach as much as the ones that are not so great to walk through. Who in their right mind wants to walk through moments of pain?
In hospitals the pain test they give is, “on a scale of 1-10, where is the pain today?”
Soon we will be able to see where that level is with each person, and I dare say, understand if the pain is physical, mental, emotional – psychological, and measure it to that person.
Will it cause people to change? If so? how many will actually change? how many will never?
Or will it simply open up new revenue streams for business to profit from in creating new things to manipulate the real need for change, by deadening the pain of man for profit? (Imagine the future of entertainment for a moment)
I sit here and type, and have to laugh at myself. How after all the years in the lab, real change only started to happen when the process of minimizing and stripping off anything I didn’t really need happened.
You look at the world with a new set of eyes and realize there is a whole lot more, with greater depth and meaning beyond sensory living.
The perfect cup of coffee becomes whatever coffee you have, wherever you are on the planet, and with whomever you happen to be with at that moment.
Tomorrow, perfection might look very different; yet, it will be just as perfect.
Good luck quantifying that….but i think we might have a way to do it. :o)