The work I do requires that I study people’s (ie: consumers) behaviour and how it is affected by external influences. This in turn affects their decision process in terms of many things: the products and services they purchase, how they react to advertising, what type of content will compel them to take action and so on.
Of course, one of the most influential external stimulus in the last while has been the Internet and everything related to it. Social media, gaming, connected devices, mobile devices, information overload…
It is fascinating to see how people are affected often without realizing it. For example, I have seen significant behavioural changes in my students over the last decade and a half. Attention to detail, punctuality, quality of assignments, in class participation and overall results have most definitely been negatively impacted.
Some professors ask students to put away their mobile devices during class. A few even ask that mobile devices be turned off and left at the door. I decided not to do that. Instead I allow my students to use their mobile devices but for a useful purpose, searching for information that will contribute to the content and their understanding of the course material. I do ask that they not take calls, texts or play games, during class and if there is abuse I will restrict use from that point on.
I’ve only had to do this twice in the last 6 years.
That being said, even though their devices give them access to unlimited information, and I have given them permission to use them in class, I find it interesting that they don’t have the reflex to use them for information searches.
As a student, I would have given my left … well, a lot... to have access to such a device.
In any case, as a marketer and entrepreneur you also need to understand the impact of the cyber effect. I borrow this term from Dr.Mary Aiken who has written an excellent book that discusses how the Internet is changing the human psyche.