Walking Dead

Friday night and a special treat arrived for some of us at the Bait & Switch shop: an off-site event.

A local institution (coughcoughRinglingcough) was the beneficiary of the largesse of the Dodgy Brothers. A walk through the grounds was punctuated by stations of food and bait, all for the low low price of $135 ($175 for VIPS). Called the……Bait Walk, it had the potential to be a cluster, especially given the organizing ability of the Bait Manager in charge.

I was situated at the first tasting station. With me were three other Bait Associates, all of whom were Kool-Aid-soaked deadshits from other stores. OMG these guys had zero personality, and less customer rapport.

Two of them took one bait type each, leaving me with the red bait – two bottles. The other one stood (literally stood stationary) behind us and did nothing but opened containers.

As the line became longer, and people began to linger at the tasting table, I figured to move up the line to those people waiting. At no time did this other bozo take over from me, nor offer any kind of contribution.

Then there was the situation with sample (pour) size. My first information was we were pouring 4oz, then it became 2, and at the end of the night the word was 1. OMG, these idiots. And there was little guidance as to anything else. As the people moved along the walk, we were left with no-one to serve, and the monkeys descended into boring shoptalk. I kept apart and silent. That was for the best.

Happily I was out of there at 9:00 pm, with a 9:00 am start the next day. But as an example of just how poorly disciplined and organized these people are, there are few better.

Open

New Year-type resolutions aren’t my thing. If I should be doing something, why not start now?

{This conceit, that I think, measure, ponder and then act is an act of self-delusion. Leave me alone.}

Discovering a few new emphases (note the subtle re-framing) meant the last few days of torpor weren’t wasted.

One point is really clear: life will become a series of enterprises, attempted and failed, with the object of creating ongoing income. Some will require more work than others, some will be disproportionately valuable WRT work input, others the reverse. (Meaning lots of work for less income.)

The one common factor is that everyone I meet is now a potential customer or provider. That sounds brutal, I know. But we’re self-protective animals, and even the most altruistic of relationships have some element of utility.

I’m open to everyone.

Not At Home

Facebook’s mobile revenues were up in the last quarter, a lot. Astonishingly, nearly 20% of the world’s population has an “account” with this company, which tells us something, although I am uncertain just what.

The advertisers’s dilemma continues. On the one hand we have this shift to life on devices. On the other we have legacy media still operating, albeit at a much lower level. I can still remember the heyday of the newspaper classified ads business, when Fairfax, the then owners of the Sydney Morning Herald, declared their small-ads business a “river of gold”.

Noteworthy, thirty years on, of its replacement with the “river of drivel” that are most social media.

The question remains: how to find your customer? As Matt Drudge proclaimed about the likes of Twitter and Facebook, the internet is increasingly ghetto-ized. I wonder if consumer taste and choice is the same. Are we happy in our consumption fortress, or are we open to new ideas?

Impenetrable

food

As far as I can determine, there is no science behind what drives buying decisions. Wait. No. Actually, there is. Try this on for size, from 2008.

The way the brain buys, from The Economist.

With so much money at stake, finding a way to the shopping decision region of our brains is clearly valuable to all kinds of vendors. My question is how accurate any of this can be. Here’s the clue:

Technology will also begin to identify customers’ emotions. Dr Sharma’s software has the potential to analyse expressions, like smiles and grimaces, which are hard to fake.

Talking to people is one thing. What we tell someone about how or why we buy might be a long way removed from the real decision-making cascade. Telling ourselves stories, fakery, masking, justification: these are the building materials of our ego, which I believe has a large part in figuring how we spend our money.

In other words, we buy what we think we are.

By extension, of we can find a way to understanding who our potential customers think they are, we find a way to pitch our product. It’s that easy.

Right?