People like to share. When something extraordinary happens in their lives, people will share. When an amazing offer is made from a preferred brand or TV show, people will share that as well. But, are these two examples of sharing the same? I think not. And I openly challenge marketers to think long and hard about this dichotomy. To further explain, let’s look to something as common yet extraordinary as the daily sunset.
The earth rotates on its axis once every 24 hours. It’s this phenomenon, the rotation of the earth, which creates a day. This seemingly humdrum event is a stunning recurring phenomenon that inhabitants on earth don’t consciously observe, or do we? And if we do, are we aware of what we are seeing?
Now, before you continue reading please take a moment to visit Twitter and input #sunset into the search field or click here.
Sunsets provide an awesome display of ever-changing and unique beauty, which mystifies and amazes us each and every day. It is a brilliant display of light that is so inherently powerful, it enables us to take notice and share – #sunset. But, in doing so, we often forget about the immense mathematical calculations and intricate workings of the universe that make those sunsets possible.
As marketers, what can we extract from the earth’s rotation and sunsets? First, we must take notice of the participant’s (consumer’s) state-of-mind. Do we really want to continue to create marketing ploys that direct consumers in a conscious state? Shouldn’t we be seeking something greater? We should strive to harness our ability to tap into the consumer’s unconscious mindset, where they participate not because they are asked to, but because they are so totally immersed in their surroundings that they share without being asked – they share because they are a part of the experience themselves. Marketers should cease to push content and instead become architects. Architects of fully immersive environments filled with subtle components that trigger magical moments that we can’t help but share.
So, what does the future hold for us? Everything will be built to tap into the unconscious by creating fully immersive experiences that direct behavior in a subliminal and magical way. And, above any other industry, sports still provides marketers with the ultimate landscape to architect an experience. To support this way of thinking I turn to the recent Ad Age article, “How to Get the Most Out of Your Sports Sponsorship.” IEG reports that marketers are expected to spend $14.35 billion on sports sponsorship deals this year, a 4.9 percent increase from 2013 when spending grew 5.1 percent. While the rate of increase is forecast to slow, sports still dominates the sponsorship business, accounting for 70 percent of all dollars (source: Ad Age). Shocking, right? I think not. Sports provide immersive environments that are filled with magical moments. Moments where fans share because they want to, not because they are told to; because they themselves are part of the narrative, creating memories and impressions that they will hold onto and repeat for days, weeks and lifetimes after the event.
Whether it’s for your company or for a client, challenge yourself, challenge the team to think about the meaning behind what it truly means to share. Sharing is a beautiful art that’s so easily lost in today’s media (i.e. Tweet this and Like that). It’s become over commoditized. Marketers need to assemble components to enable immersive environments that ultimately trigger a magical moment. And, if done correctly, the results will transcend beyond imagination. #sunset
Jeffrey Cutler is a senior vice president at MATTER, specializing in digital strategy and convergent technologies.