1.) Lonely but connected (Connected Loneliness): Consumerswith a massive friends list on FB but Living alone. The connected lonely syndrome. And why would they like to unplug from digital world and buy real life experiences.
3.) Seeking a Meaning: Consumers seeking to leave a positive foot print.
This article talks about the first point, “connected loneliness” and how this trend is picking up and will become more and more mainstream. I will explore the rest of the two trends later.
Lonely But Connected
Almost 60% of internet users, who lead a busy social media life, miss out on real life. They usually find themselves in a vicious circle where they were too busy for real life events and then the people around them moved on leaving them glued to their screens. Following is a snapshot of a detailed infographic.
Either too busy to be lonely, or too lonely to be free. This target segment is a very juicy niche for products that are offering relaxation in any shape or form.
Following are some examples that capitalized on these trends
Disconnect to Connect
When we become addicted to using the internet and mobile phones to interact, we neglect our loved ones and friends beside us. Thailand’s DTAC telecommunications (Telenor) company released a “Disconnect to Connect” advertisement campaign, telling us to cherish the people beside us.
Go On Facebook Diet or Unplug Yourself
There are books out there to help you get out of internet addiction the most noticeable being “The Facebook Diet” . Here are some thoughts of my favorite comic character ‘aunty acid’ on the connected lonely people.
Or maybe you can visit and read Fast Company’s thought on unplugging yourself from internet
Wi-Fi Free Zones
The most juicy target audience we ever had, i.e. ‘The mothers’ relate to this sentiment more deeply and quickly than anyone else. Pick any parenting book and you will notice that they are now talking about creating ‘Wi Fi free Zones’ in your houses to have meaningful time with your family. As “There is nothing that is more urgent than the real life I am living, every day.” (Abstract taken from “nurture parenting”)
Here is an example of what Kit Kat has done for the audience to appreciate their surroundings and can I just restate that this campaign was done by my ex-employer, JWT. One of the best agencies to work at
Here is an example of how Switzerland used data points to sell their “holidays without internet” to internet savvy people. This was done in 2011 imagine what can be done in 2013 when I.A.D (Internet addiction disorder) will be marked as a real disorder.
The ‘connected but lonely’ is a niche segment; anything directed to them cannot be mass so Customize. Customize as much as your category allows you.
1.) Call for action beyond clicks: Have a look at the Gold Winner at this years’ Cannes. Why this Ad was good? Because it had an insight and a call for action. Clicks on internet are meaningless if they aren’t backed by actions. Same goes for birthday wishes, get well messages and every other form of human interaction. Bring this fact back to the conscious level of your audience.
2.) Do we really have friends? How many of our digital friends are the ones with whom we will have coffee at least once a month? Offer your audiences to have meaningful social interactions. I am not sure how many BTL activities can be sponsored by a brand on these lines, but ATL opportunities and ambient media opportunities are humongous in this domain. Have a look at this Digital Detox Retreats site to have some ideas.
3.) Offer Happiness, be a friend: Did you know that the more the mind wanders, the less happy you are – here is a study that talks about this in detail. This means you would like to offer your audiences some tools (maybe an app) that offer Self-Control, Focus Booster and some short breaks. (The links are the links of the apps that can be sponsored by your brands). Happiness will not only come from apps- it will also come from a wake-up call or a memorable experience. Consider offering any of that. Be friends with your audiences, they need that.
In case you would like me to amend something above, please write to me or consider dropping a comment – that will make me very happy.
My first question is, is this blog by a maid in Dubai for real? If it is, then it is time to ask the following questions
Depth and breadth of social media in UAE – from face book to blogger, how many do we have? What are the numbers? What are they doing? And how can they be accessed & influenced? I compiled some statistics on social media users in UAE but this needs to be updated and expanded.
Work ethics and social media guidelines – This young lady is the first drop of water, now magnify this to the workforce in UAE. Key Question companies need to ask from themselves is when will I be developing my social media usage guidelines, will I be developing them at all? Example of social media guidelines
This Filipina lady is a lesson in blogging – I think copyblogger should present it as a case study; this blog caught the eye of press despite of poor language, no proper training in headline development etc.
Change has always been the only constant, especially in the United Arab Emirates. A country which is only 39 years old but has attracted global attention in terms of growth rates, construction marvels and is leading the region on many fronts.
Following are a couple of thoughts on activities/projects which will probably bring some major changes in the media consumption and marketing front of UAE.
The three big changes that I have identified are
Abu-Dhabi getting traction
I have uploaded my views on slide-share FYR. Hope you find them useful
I have received multiple requests from people who are seeking trends and insights (facts and figures) into UAE consumer. Before we move toward more meaningful insights it is important to know some basic facts, following is the compilation of few basic facts. Hope it will add value to your daily jobs. Continue reading →
Connected citizens pose a new challenge for Public Sector at large, following is what I believe are the most important three trends which will impact public sector in coming few years. I analyzed it from the perspective of product, promotion and people’s perspective. Hope you will find it useful. Continue reading →
The inconsistency is not only intergovernmental it is also intra-governmental. This confusion leads to problems in strategy mapping, business processes and thus it boils down to activities and tasks performed at grass-roots. And the devil of community engagement / public engagement is in the grass-root. This causes the whole concept of community engagement to fail.
Challenge 2: Direct relationship of public engagement with benefits
In private sector the relationship of customer and profits is explicit, measurable and the core driver. In Governments the relationship is indirect and vague, here is what I think
The policy and practices cant incorporate all customer inputs and hence engagement may result in dissatisfaction
Products and services that are fee-based can be correlated with customer involvement but the incentive is missing for free services.
The elected government doesn’t know how engagement will help them in getting re-elected and that minimizes the interest at federal level.
Challenge 3: Ignorance and vested interests
There will always be groups that have vested interests in certain community projects and a regular screening questionnaire may not be able to filter those respondents out effectively. It will cause unnecessary biases and unavoidable issues. To avoid that, Governments might aim at increasing the sample base which will affect the cost-benefit relationship of engagement.
Not everyone in the society is informed and is foresighted and this may mean Government has to focus on capacity building of the community. In societies where literacy rate is considerably high capacity building is the first step towards effective engagement.
These are just some of the problems I foresee in terms of community engagement in developing countries. I will frequently update this post, all comments are welcome.
Here are some useful sites for those who are interested in community engagement in Public Sector
I have tried to compile the learning’s from across the globe in this document (public engagement in public services), I hope you will find it useful.
I personally believe in identifying the challenges first because that stimulates the thinking as to how these challenges can be addressed. Below is an extract from the document, it highlights the key challenges
A broad target segments: Unlike private sector Government reaches out to everyone equally. Now this involves lower & higher SECs, hard to reach audiences, opinion leaders and followers, literates and illiterates, segments with vested interests etc. This together broadens the scope of community engagement for public services and makes it complicated to ensure unbiased results
Accountability, information access and federal government:- Unlike private sectors in public sector – community and citizens have all the rights reserved to access the information they shared at all levels. But it is very difficult from Governments’ perspective to share information at all levels, especially in the absence of web 2.0 technologies. Governments are also centralized and decisions take a lot of time before implementation. This results in distrust of communities on the Governments and consequently people feel that their input is not being valued.
Generic community management issues:- Addressing the destructive impact of ‘bad participation’, where negative attitudes to community involvement lead to poor engagement practices, causing increased hostility, decreased trust and poor experience and outcomes not only for communities, but also for officials and politicians, thus further reinforcing negative attitudes and behavior. Recognizing the catch-22 faced by residents who take on responsibilities as community leaders, but find their legitimacy challenged precisely because they ‘stand out’ – becoming labeled as ‘unrepresentative usual suspects’.
Inconsistent vocabulary: - The term ‘community participation’ is understood and applied differently by different statutory bodies, and by different officers within those statutory bodies. These variations can make it hard for different bodies to work in partnership with each other and with communities.
Lack of available statistics on how community engagement helped Governments gain popularity, enhanced their positive image and got re-elected also acts as a barrier from government officials view point
Managing expectations: – increased community engagement results into high level of expectations. So it at times become a catch 22 whereby increasing satisfaction through involvement Governments can lead to dissatisfaction by inconsistent policy or by not incorporating the community inputs
In a tax-free environment, the first question which Government as a service provider asks is the depth of community engagement. Why and to what level people should be engaged? On top of tax-free environment, high turnover rate of expats (which constitutes the major part of the population) complicates service delivery, satisfaction levels and result oriented community engagement
A unique mix of expats from different parts of the world results into different level of satisfaction and expectations across different segments. It becomes increasingly difficult to understand the cultural, lingual differences in involvement and product delivery.
Future is uncertain, unseen and for industry like advertising and marketing fairly challenging. Advertising is going through interesting times, social media hype has been blown out of proportion, and some have started to celebrate the death of TV and 30 second commercials. As per my understanding of communication industry, following is my perspective about advertising’s future
New age advertising will be very much like old-age advertising – The soul of advertising and communication has always, been and will always be in IDEA. The means of communication will keep on changing. It is the power of a relevant idea that drives marketing and communication. and more empowered generation of consumers will demand more relevance (in terms of everything from product to communication).
To increase revenue (product usage) there are only two ways either we should increase the uses or the users. Advertising industry will expand also like this either we will tap into the untapped i.e. new markets and/or new media.
Following is my understanding about the future of communication industry, hope you will find it useful
We are living in a world where almost 1 out of every 5 person is a Muslim. The degree to which they practice religion is subject to debate, but the fact that is important to understand that Muslims are too big a niche to be ignored.