Was just reading Google’s new quarterly publication “Think Quarterly” and the story “Soft Data Hard Values” caught my attention as it profiles the work of Professor Peter Kruse who is the founder and CEO of nextpractice, based in Bremen, Germany. His work encompasses studying the collective intuition of groups, to reveal the hidden value patterns which underpin social change. In short one could say the good doctor is looking for the next tipping point if we can borrow the term from Malcolm Gladwell.
To achieve this, his work has involved a number of varied disciplines such as psychologists, economists, sociologists, and computer scientists to tease what he refers to as ritualistic trends from various datasets. As he has found not so surprisingly that semantics within languages adds a lot of extraneous noise to the measurement process, leading to inability to distinguish the “true” trend from the resulting patterns. To minimize the basis of the “noise“, Kruse has developed a means of mathematically combining both quantitative as well as qualitative information streams into an individual data set into one common picture Professor Kruse coined as the ‘collective intuition’.
However what really grabbed me was buried deep at the bottom of the story as he explained that in the past marketing work under the concept of a “push by presence” were the phrase is self explanatory as advertisers would push ads in front of you hoping you will buy. Where this worked was in an era of low information context where time was available for the “imprint” to happen. However with (buyer) information over load and the cost of admission for advertisers so low this method is no longer affective.
So what is the answer, well Kruse thinks it is “pull by resonance” where consumers will “pull” purchases to them which “resonance” with them and notice that I didn’t say with their needs as the concept of resonation doesn’t necessarily need to align as it can be sensitive to a point in time as remember back to that time where you just felt like an ice cream? That resonated with you and if offered say Cole slaw instead, would that have been the same? Of course not, and that is where things in the new world order of social connections will play major role as craving (resonance) is only valid while it exists.
As the moment a topic or an event strikes the value system of people in a way that they tune in by active acceptance, a positive feedback loop then occurs and the buying interest kicks in. It is this effect of crossing this threshold into the realm of active involvement because emotional impact creates ‘resonance’.
In short periods of resonance is what drives the creation of viral loops while the “intensity” of this will determine the pace which the loop takes. Whereas if one were to measure the ebbs and tides of “resonance” within social networks. This would provide a barometer of coming trends as at the moment someone has pressing the “like” button, resonance exists…