Businesses must understand the people's social agenda by looking at the social action behaviours that sway purchase.In the age of the shareholder, the agenda of businesses has been orientated around generating maximum profit and consequently, they have focused on engendering behaviour that is centred on the usage and/or consumption of their products and services. Revenue created from these actions will usually benefit the business, the share price and the shareholders.However, this agenda can fundamentally clash with the social agenda of real people, which centres' on actions, behaviours and new and old technologies that allow them to share, connect, interact, learn, love, have fun and enjoy new experiences with each other.AFor businesses to operate effectively in this new age of communication, it's fundamental for them to adopt an approach that hinges on understanding the social agenda of real people.
They must get amongst the people who use their products and/or services, not strictly to look at the purchasing behaviour, but to look at the social actions or the behaviours that may influence purchase. Inherent in this is a study of the new ways that people connect, socialize, interact and communicate with each other.Although businesses will never achieve 100% understanding (because, lets face it, humans are highly complex creatures, after all), those that succeed in such an approach will then be able to market with people, rather than at them. Ultimately, these businesses will be able to communicate their messages in ever more meaningful ways, and create more evocative experiences that connect with and enhance people's lives and their social agendas.
AUnsurprisingly, Nike is a company that has fully embraced this ethos. Simon Pestridge, their UK marketing director said recently that, "advertising is about achieving awareness, and [they] no longer need awareness." He believes that they "need to become a part of people's lives," and that they want to "inspire consumers to seek out their content" and "this is the model [they] will be following from now on." They believe that they understand their customers much better than anyone else and continue to learn by doing things like "running ideas past a kid on a football pitch. If [we] don't get laughed they're probably on the right track."A