The home straight: Pick a winner!

Written by Martin Lucas

The start of the race is here.

Laps 3-5 are here.

Lap 6. 3D thinking

Amazon has 1,800 data scientists beavering away to create the perfect consumer experience desired by Jeff Bezos, but even so, this still happens:

Amazon is the pinnacle of eCommerce; they’re the best of the best. This is just a fun example, I’m certainly not criticising them. What they are working on is deeply understanding the customer; they do this with what I term ‘2D data’, which is the analytical side of consumer behaviour. It breaks down like this:

  • What products do you look at
  • What products do you buy
  • What other products are similar
  • What can we suggest to you
  • What should we show you first when you search and browse

This is all practical mathematics which allows a service provider to put you into certain  buckets, such as:

Do they like cookbooks? Yes

Do they like romance novels? No

Imagine that magnified by millions of categories and you start to get an idea of the masses of data that Amazon look at. Where this goes awry is that it presents products that it thinks you may like without considering what they look like together, it misses the emotional connection between products and doesn’t consider the emotions of the consumer.

That is why I call it 2D data. It doesn’t consider the human experience; it’s still caught in the user experience world. There is a sizeable difference between these, yet that’s where the future will take us.

Irrational Consumption

We are all irrational creatures. We can’t explain everything we do and especially not why we do what we do. We irrational thinkers in a rationally structured world. The exceptions are how we consume, how we shop, how we behave in our personal lives; this is when the irrational mind is free to be itself, to be weird.

This is why product design and advertising can both entice us and cause us to criticise them in equal measure. We are sharp, intellectual creatures and do not shy away from saying when we do or don’t like something; equally, we can be seduced by adverts and designs in our subconscious minds. These are two sides of a coin which produce evidence of the irrational mind.

The core difference between taking 2D data and making it 3D is emotional intelligence.

If you want a book about spoons then it’s more likely you would also like silver polish.

If you want a book about masturbation then it’s more likely you would also like a box of tissues.

Sorry, I couldn’t resist and yet it’s a fair example. Emotional Intelligence is our subconscious. It’s how we read people’s faces, micro expressions, tone, environment. It’s how we understand ourselves, our awareness of self and our awareness of the world. Emotional Intelligence is one of nine human intelligences. 2D data is when only IQ is considered, whereas 3D data is when IQ and Emotional Intelligence (EQ) are combined.

The data of people is present in what we’d term as ‘normal’ data; it’s just how we think about the same data that needs a new lens on it. Understanding the concept of the irrational mind is about mathematics; it is a qualitative, quantitative and emotional formula:

How do I feel + When do I feel + What do I need = Irrational Mathematics

I see a trend where change-makers are looking to eCommerce for answers; this is also where I did a lot of testing because it’s about mass behaviour change. It’s the easiest way to see what works and test across millions of people and thus data points.

An eCommerce website is a Nudge theory dreamland to try out all sorts.

Customer experience is about loyalty, engagement and also some wonderful process testing. (For example you can see how What, How and Why questions talk to different parts of the mind in this article).

As eCommerce continues to evolve, humans will do what humans do best; they will borrow from one discipline and adapt it for another. For example, Game Theory is already being widely used in eCommerce and Social Media.

The winner of this lap is the organisation that embraces the emotional side of human needs, desires and strives to understand their interests.

Your prediction for who will win?

Lap 7. What is experience?

How do you want to be treated?

What motivates you?

Why do those things matter to you?

Do you know if other people feel the same as you?

Human-centric experiences are key for the individual to feel the experience, to relate to the experience and thus engage with the experience. The way businesses create this experience is going to be visceral, it’s going be engaging, it’s going to consider the individual as much as the mass. Personalisation is going to become very real and if it’s done with creative consciousness, it will only electrify the wins.

‘Every reminiscence is coloured by one’s present state, hence by a deceptive point of view. Nevertheless much can be gathered out of one’s own experience that is not open to another consciousness.’

- Albert Einstein

The unconscious mind is your engine of thought, of decisions, of who you are and why you are.

How we become who we are - in a work and consumer context - is our focus. Consider the psychology of self:

The Experience Circle is an iterative loop; at each point there are opportunities to influence, educate, help, support, tell, ask, change and simply understand. The more we understand about the experience the individual needs, the more we win.

Experience is subjective; it's up to you to decide how much it matters. Here are some deeper dives for you to pick and choose from:

‘Mind has no gender’ - a working example around sexism, racism and influence.

Watch How to put the human into user experience, an example around A.I. and more 3D thinking.

You can also watch Why the computer says no’, a fun exploration of how we create problems by assuming and not thinking about the human.

Understanding and executing adaptive experiences will help your future success.

Your prediction of who will win?

Lap 8. The Final Lap

What will the buyer believe in? Who will the buyer believe in?

McKinsey, PWC, Deloitte, Accenture; all are cloaked in the consulting shadow and beset by quality of service issues, certainly in their finance areas anyway.

Ogilvy, M&C Saatchi, McCann; all need to move past ‘creative’ and better understand their customers’ needs, desires and emotions.

For both lanes, the world of psychology and human sciences continue to develop at a breakneck pace in which what we thought we knew yesterday has already changed today and who knows what tomorrow will bring. It presents a win for anyone who creates a culture that embraces the same approach to positive change that it sells.

Let’s end with a few examples that highlight the state of flux that human-related service providers should be aware of, four from hundreds of areas we could look at:

Drug abuse: We have used the label of drug ‘abuse’ for 30 years. Contextually, this label had the same stigma as child abuse in the system and by society. Two very different issues and yet banged together to the detriment of the substance mis-user. Language matters in all we do.

The full digestion period of technology: Humans used to check the time by looking at their wrist or a clock on the wall. Now, time is in our unconscious all day, every day as we check our phones constantly and also see the time on our laptops and tablets. We feel like we have less time because we’re more aware of time. At the same time,  technology is robbing us of time as we waste hours hunting dopamine hits on our devices.

The big X: User experience is a term born from Microsoft as they started licensing and selling software. Fast forward 30+ years and it’s the inclusion of the word ‘user’ here that’s become an issue. A user is a human - a unique individual with different needs, desires and thoughts despite wanting similar products and services. The future is customer experience, sales experience, the future of service is experience.

Consumption: 40 years ago, we watched TV in the one and only room where we had a TV! 20 years ago, we watched TV in whichever room we chose to. Today, we consume entertainment on devices in a variety of ways, anywhere and on-demand. How companies engage with people changes as consumption changes; we think differently while on a mobile than we do when thinking in front of a TV. Advertising must adapt to the method of consumption.

There is always a Why to any behaviour; if you want to positively influence humans to do more or buy more or believe in your company more (as both of these lanes do), then you need to adapt to the mindset of your target market. Agility of mind is agility of service and that is what will win this race.

Your prediction for who will win?

That is the end of the race, thanks for participating, tally up your scores and see who came out as your winner!