June 13, 2008
Around the Consortium: Personalization, Emotion in Politics, Soaps, and Digital

To start with, C3 Alum Ilya Vedrashko has a recent post about sites morphing to the cognitive style of each visitor, over on his Advertising Lab site. See more here.

Meanwhile, C3 Consulting Researcher Grant McCracken writes about the prioritization of emotion in U.S. politics at the moment, and how separated this is from previous measurements of leadership.

I also wanted to give a quick link to this podcast with the team at Daytime Confidential. I was honored to be invited on for a call and appreciated having the chance to discuss my research and perspective on soap operas today, the class at MIT, other soaps projects I'm working on at the moment, and how this links to my work with the Consortium. Thanks also to Fred Smith for the plug.

Finally, one of my new duties in the role of Director of Customer Insights for Peppercom is being part of their blogging team for PepperDigital, the company's team which focuses on communicating with audiences in a digital age.

As I wrote last week, I'm continuing to work with the Consortium community as a research affiliate, and I will continue to write regularly here on the C3 blog, as well as over at PepperDigital. Recently, I've had the opportunity to write about a few issues for PepperDigital that I thought might be of interest with C3 readers and which I wanted to link to this afternoon.

They've Lost That Loving Feeling: The Government We Date, and the Government We Marry. "We can know what many people running for office had for lunch, their favorite bands, and how tired campaigning makes them, yet try to figure out your city's sanitation rules, or the TSA's travel rules. So, we've learned that those who are marketing politics are quite digitally savvy, but the nuts and the bolts of the governments elected officials are in charge of often has a long way to go. I'm not saying I want to know what flavor of gelato my local planning and zoning commissioners like, but I might like to know what major issues are on their agenda, have a public forum where members of the staff answer questions for local citizens, and so on."

Marketers, Hold Your Fire: Remember that You're an Audience Member, Too. "I can spend significant time amused by advertisements, but not when they're framed as ads. I'll ignore them if I think they are hawking to me. If it's presented to me as content, though, these ads have my engaged attention. That's what makes me wonder why companies don't dump their commercial archives on YouTube, why corporate sites for products seem to have so little information, and so on. From boomers on down, we have a media environment today where the vast majority of the U.S. population grew up in an advertising and branding-saturated environment. That means people have grown quite adept at commercial avoidance, a fact I'd suspect many of us implicitly know. The question is how to use the growing technologies of targeting marketing messages in ways that present them as content people want sent to them or else seek out, rather than an intrusion thrust upon them."

Promoting a Band...Promoting a Brand: The Lessons Are Often Quite Similar. "While [C3 Consulting Researcher Nancy Baym] targets her list at bands in particular, it becomes quickly apparent from a "comparative" approach that her advice is pretty sound across the media industries. She suggests bands get their 'products' online, distribute their presence across multiple sites and integrate those various sites of connection with potential listeners, get to know their most influential audience members, and so on. Sounds like a message applicable to not only developing creators in other fields but also public relations professionals, marketers, and others looking to build a brand or promote a product."