MATRIXed??

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Are we all safe in this “TINY WORLD” ?

There is a belief that for every deed – good or bad, there is a judgement day to answer, meaning someone watches us closely !  None of us for sure know if that is true , we haven’t experienced d-day , nor the experienced one has given any information with proof! It’s literally based on belief.

But with highly advanced digitalisation and data analytics someone / something is closely watching every move of us. What you Read, what you Browse, what you speak, what movie you watch, what do you shop, where do you travel, what type of friends you have, your health monitor, charity you do , your worth financially, your family tree , of all what you might “think” –  Not  to be Questioned on the D- day , but to “sell and market” to us by influencing our thoughts and actions.

Sometimes this makes me feel whatever we see around us is not true . Everything is fabricated to con and market.

Behaviour & sentimental Analytics ! ” – This suggests a future where humans are manipulated by intelligent systems that can predict our tendencies and inclinations, our preferences and biases, our actions and reactions, all while finding our weaknesses and exploiting them.  And shouldn’t we be concerned about this ?

In simple terms, You might wonder how your random search for shopping a shoe appeared as an advertisement when you open your mail !!!  And you see your mails/messages loaded with shoe offers , free coupons constantly and finally you end up buying something even though that was not your need  at that time. But because you are attracted by the repeated flash of product for few days  though it was annoying, the goal is to make you buy. Now you are a potential buyer (vulnerable). You will be in the target list ever !!

Digital Advertising and Branding have become important in this competitive market. These are some of the Steps to build brand in traditional process –

Here lets assume we want to brand a biscuit

Goal of this branding process – to make the consumer aware of the brand

  1. Hire a Branding Agency/consultant
  2. Branding Agent will try to project a key USP (unique selling point) – “ Oats and Wheat in right proportion”
  3. Slogan created /Logo added/Colors chosen/Packaging decided/Price points  all set
  4. Print Ads/TV promotion with a celebrity/ Sample give aways

Whats new in this? This has been bygone days mode of promoting products/services.

But now this is not enough in this digital world – “BUZZ MARKETING

Goal of BUZZ (viral marketing)  is to make people speak about your brand and not just be aware of the product.

Effective ways of making people speak about biscuit brand

  1. The Remarkable
  2. The Unusual (unique)
  3. Taboo (controversial)
  4. The Outrageous
  5. The Hilarious
  6. Secrets (kept and revealed)

Wonder what is this ? Yes , these are some ways were you can trigger the mass/ viral to talk about the brand.

How ?

  1. The Remarkable – here the biscuit branders projects the companies key people in various articles, awards, high rating etc. Reports from Big names including Gartner/ Nielsen and best awards of the year are all sadly influenced and biased. It is tough to believe but that is how it is !  Best top 50 CEO includes the biscuit company CEO , healthy biscuit of the year Award, New innovation.
  2. The Unusual – Next critical one is to publish a white paper / research article about how oats can improve your health and can be cure for many diseases –  portray  the effect of oats as a panacea – here no biscuit branding is involved – its an article circulated sometimes with a patent. Apparently the article would have given insights on how the right proportion of oats and wheat is good with all scientific evidences !
  3. Taboo to mean controversial here.  These types of topics are ones that give people something to debate, dispute, or argue about. The obvious example viral video of controversial information of oats plus wheat combinations gets circulated just to make you aware there is such a combination . And may be a bg rat died in the Factory, A big roach in one of the packed biscuit packet.   And even though it can be a cheap tactic, it works.
  4. Outrageous – Have you heard about “internet trollers” supposed to be one best earning job.  A troll  is a person who sows discord on the internet by starting quarrels or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, outrageous , or  off topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chatroom, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal, on-topic discussion, often for the troll’s amusement. Unknowingly we will be defending him , not knowing he is paid to do that , and we will be engaging ourselves and continuing the conversation or reading somebody else messages – “Constant engagement “.
  5. The Hilarious – “Memes” created everyday by numerous public people gets circulated for unnecessary reason increasing the data traffic and somebody keeps earning for the fwd/transfer we do. This can be also about the biscuit , or continuation of the taboo created in a hilarious way. It is endless chain.
  6. Secrets – This could be a video of a premium release of the biscuit, or some kind of information about a privacy information of someone involved, could be the TV promoter celebrity or the company’s CEO, or an employee voicing out something bad about the company whatever , spread to very few people. But you know when a secret has to be kept is when it becomes viral and wide spreads – human tendency .. the best way of promotion is to ask someone to keep it a secret.

Now I guess you are getting what I am trying to convey. And you know very well, it does not stop with biscuits.

The downside of it , the advertiser/branding agent himself has neither a clue nor control on where his ads are getting displayed. This is real cobweb situation.

Apparently, all these buzz marketing modes mentioned above  are pushed at more or less similar time into the market making people talk about it both good and bad about the biscuit, people involved including the TV celebrity, promoters, or anyone for that matter.

As smart buyer we read a lot about all this including the patented white/research paper and assume  we are making an intelligent decision as we are health conscious and Diet watchers . This gives us a feel that they we are doing the right thing . Well the Tv ads with a movie actress/model in skimpy clothes will be still selling the same product (such as it being healthy, can help reduce weight and waist) But as a smart buyer we are not just buying because of the lady in the ad , we have analysed read a lot about this combo and watched controversial news. And finally when we buy, we feel we have done a right choice of choosing that particular biscuit ! This is a very very complicated chain and just not decision tree of yes and no , goes way beyond in predicting the next move of the consumer!! And we are also unknowingly used by the branding agency to act as promoter when we sell this to our near and dear ones with the knowledge we gained and fwd the memes not realising how we help them without getting paid.

One day coconut oil was the reason for heart disease, next day coconut oil has become integral part of cooking as it is highly rich in good cholesterol. To support and aid there are reports / research papers and patents. Thats how the “gamification” and “constant engagement” of user in the spider web is fabricated !

All that you see around you may not be all that true !!   This makes me think we are just puppets and someone else is pulling the string from above !! By constantly monitoring us, slowly influencing our everyday routine to deciding on our future goals too !

These ” intruders ” created by us as part of our science and technology growth have already started recreating or restructuring our path. The intersection is already profound but One day they will overtake us and we will be complete slaves to machines / machine learning algorithms. These are already creating a pattern and predicting what I would be doing next !

I am afraid if I can say “Be careful and open your eyes and be watchful ” as we have crossed that stage long back !

Now we Just have to silently watch how AI is gonna completely transform and own the human kind one day. As in some hollywood movies – the real thinking soul will be sleeping in capsules and fabricated human soul controlled by machines will be walking around without knowing the real soul is sleeping somewhere – “MATRIX EFFECT “

You might wonder it is an exaggeration but sadly it seems like a very real world. On the lighter side of it, all our Hollywood movies always dreamt about the future – 2001 space odyssey showed what video chat was and now we have it. Bond movie always dreamt about Gadgets – cell phones, smart watches , fancy flying cars… and here we are using them. God forbid – Matrixx effect may also be true.

In the bygone days of no Analytics , famous Tamil poet Bharatiyar , who always thought ahead of his time predicted this effect and this is small phrase from one of his famous poem…..

“இந்த ஞாலமும் பொய்தானோ ”  Which translates to – ” Is whole world an illusion?? !!