Making Choices for Others

>> Thursday, August 27, 2009

We talk at the agency all the time about how wellness is about making choices. As Stu and Jacob have recently submitted on our blog, it's often about the somewhat clear choice between Sex, Food, Sleep, or Talk. 

But sometimes it's about the choices that others make for us. And certainly as marketers it's about how we can help our customers make choices.

Our resident expert on all things digital, William Martino, takes a look at that very notion:  making choices for others.

Hope this finds you well -- Jim.


Making choices for others. Visit a museum and you will experience this first-hand. The curator—the person responsible for overseeing the museum's collection—combed through the museum's archives to present you, the viewer, with a cohesive display of what they felt were the most important and significant pieces out of the entire collection. His (or her) job is to simplify choice.

The digital world is no different. We are all surrounded by an abundance of information—news, status updates, tweets, text messages—and sometimes need help curating. Particularly when thinking about wellness, the need for help in simplifying choices—and separating what's relevant from what's not—is even more significant (what foods to eat, different ways to exercise, trying homeopathic vs pharmaceutical treatment options, etc.).

Relevance, of course, means different things to different people. Google has made a living out of scouring the world's information and delivering relevance (and usually targeted advertising) based on complex algorithms and page ranking scores. Others, like Facebook, are trying to solve this by using the wisdom of your social network (family, friends, co-workers) to help separate the wheat from the chaff and provide a different kind of relevance to you.

We as marketers have our own opportunity to help simplify choice through relevance.  

Sometimes it's by actively doing something to simplify life (one recent example: J&J created an iPhone application for healthcare professionals, called BlackBag, which aggregates news feeds and conveniently delivers that information to the palm of your hand). 

Other times, it's about getting out of the way (for example, by giving your customers an opportunity to voice their opinion, like rating and ranking your products, so that others can see what "people like me" think). 

What choices are our customers making? What information is relevant to them in making that choice?

The only way to find the answers to those questions—and understand our role among them—is to place the wants, needs and desires of our customers at the heart of our decision-making.

Like an experienced curator, we must think in terms of what is valuable to THEM as opposed to what's valuable to US.

- William Martino, Digital Strategist at Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness


Post a Comment