Psychiatric Case: Marketing
We have decided that “Retro Digital Agency” would be an example of what we suggest to our clients or potential clients, in the goal of their work, plans or brand – to be a channel of media. So that from their channels of communication comes to content that will offer extra value to what they are working on a basic level. That was the main reason, why we are starting our new chapter – Interview.
Our agreement around the first topic was easy because all marketing activities are streaming toward one goal: to influence someone`s acting – and about human behavior patterns, the best participants in this kind of conversation are psychiatrists. So, for our choice there was help from Google, based on a search of the topic “Psychiatrists in Novi Sad”, our choice was Nebojša Barackov (by the way, did you read our blog post about the importance of search optimization?)
Retro Digital Agency (further RDA): In our preparation for this interview, we saw your presentation in which you pointed: “Language is more scarce, and our attention is more short than earlier”. Our profession is interested in how to attract attention to these conditions?
Nebojša Baračkov (further NB): Our research, like everyday life, is demonstrating to us that our attention is smaller than earlier, messages that we are sending are shorter, giving the impression that those who are creating these messages are helping that trend and giving it more power.
Add to that Google and other digital tools, as well as channels, are assuming my interests – so they are „shooting“ at me with specific, short messages – results are impoverished life with boundaries in communication.
For attention, you have to fight with skills, sometimes even with a different approach, and/or with creativity. Often, I am moderating workshops for high school pupils concerning the prevention of narcotics. In the beginning, there is noise in the classroom, everyone is looking something else (similar to social media today), and I haven’t had the chance to be louder than them. So, I have used a different approach. Quietly, I watch them. Then, they become quieter and quieter, reminding one another that I am here and soon after, I save their attention. I haven’t been offering any type of reward if they become silent, or any punishment if they don’t. Just a different approach.
Also, there is experience from Serbian Medical Society as secretary to the section of sexology. I have an opportunity to organize seminars, where my colleagues most often come just to check in and gain some credits. On most occasions, they leave those lecturers almost at the beginning. When we organized a lecture about Madonna and her sexuality, and for the second topic “Sexual aids” – our room was full.
In general, people want good information, but with all that noise and supersaturation, there is a problem of filtering crucial data. So, when you find good participants in a conversation, there is no need for pretending or acting, if they are interested in your content and message you want to share.
RDA: So, when we succeed to gain attention and send our message to the targeted marketing group, our next question is: are people ready to listen to what we have to offer them and does the crucial role in decision making have ratio or emotion?
NB: People are manly very suggestive, whatever we are thinking about the cognitive ability of them. Froyd was claiming that on our motion – relation between conscious and subconscious are like the tip of the iceberg: conscious – over the level of water is just 10%, bud subconscious is beneath – 90%. In this process, identifying with a message carrier is very important. Today, we call them influencers, and my profession uses the term – authority. In the past, they were global persons, widely known and recognized, now they are less popular and household names. I can make that conclusion only by watching my children, how fascinated they are with those YouTubers. If we accept that Freud approach 9:1 on the subconscious side, then there is obvious to target with messages. Then, you can also guess the answer to the question: ratio or emotion. A relation is the same – 9:1 in favor of emotion. They are the trigger, motivator.
As I mentioned earlier, and here I have the need to repeat, the authority of the message carrier is very important, therefore campaigns are meant to be adapted for different stereotypes.
RDA: Present time is known for gathering and writing in all data which are collected about behavior patterns, so they are somewhere memorized. From the angle of one psychotherapist, how does this fact look?
NB: I am aware of how this data can be used. As someone who has a practice which is lasting for some years, I can define precisely different patterns of behavior. That can be done with the knowledge of patient numbers (based on personal experience) and concerning answers on questions (which can help in recognizing patterns). Now, imagine millions of „patients“ and almost interminable number of answers, with which laser precision you can define someone`s behavior (as ours in terms of the digital world).
There is basically infinitive power and possibility of manipulation, the only question is who has these data and tools for manipulation – is he/she scrupulous, bad behaving and what does that person wants to achieve, which are his intentions? Responsibility is huge.
In earlier decades (like in ’60 or ’70) different kinds of researches were done, practically social experiments in prisons or communities, but the conclusion was that they are unethical, so they were stopped and forbidden. Today, we lack ethics and everything has that goal as an excuse.
When an algorithm recognizes anxiety and depressed person, there is an obvious question: would it be a message that he needs help, or this person will be stimulated to buy a car? Would an algorithm „make“ that kind of persons, since they are more likely to be manipulated?
RDA: You already mentioned that emotion is the most likely trigger or the motivation for action. How to convey emotion?
NB: In that battle, cognition is always second. We use it to defend mechanisms: „it would not happen to me“, „others are dealing with it“..).
But, when we put ourselves in that position, we could get a strong emotional influence, which is leading us to energy for changing behavior. One of the examples is from workshops with AIDS prevention: everyone knows how does HIV transfers and what is “risk behavior”? Can you imagine that I know when will they change their pattern? When we bring someone who is HIV positive, to talk about their experience and struggle. We also have one workshop with a role-playing game, when our participants are playing discriminated roles. Only then, they are ready to really change their behavior, because then they are motivated to learn more.
RDA: Can we make a conclusion that for attracting attention we need creativity, innovation, and context of the story so we can put our message in the middle of it, with experience which will influence the emotion of targeted person(s)?
NB: Exactly. I could agree with that. We can only hope, that someone who is gathering all of our data, behavior patterns – have only good intentions. Same as that this person is not in a bad mood today, or in any kind of fight with anyone else. Therefore, I support clear legal regulation in this area, as much as the accessibility of public data.