(Graham Brown mobileYouth) Why People Buy Technology: Social Proof
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(Graham Brown mobileYouth) Why People Buy Technology: Social Proof

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Social proof is an important factor in why people buy or recommend technology. ...

Social proof is an important factor in why people buy or recommend technology.

When teens buy iPhones they don’t do it because “it’s cool” but because they’re friends are using them.

When middle aged marketing execs buy iPads they don’t do it because “I can prepare my presentations on it” but because Brian in media sales has one.

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(Graham Brown mobileYouth) Why People Buy Technology: Social Proof Document Transcript

  • 1. mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org Why People Buy Technology: Social Proof SOCIAL PROOF IS KEY Social proof is an important factor in why people buy or recommend technology. When teens buy iPhones they don’t do it because “it’s cool” but because they’re friends are using them. When middle aged marketing execs buy iPads they don’t do it because “I can prepare my presentations on it” but because Brian in media sales has one. Social proof: We are social by design 1 / 7
  • 2. mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org We turn to others for social proof our actions help us belong to our peer groups and to derisk our behavior. DEFINE SOCIAL PROOF (Wikipedia) Social proof, also known as informational social influence, is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation. This effect is prominent in ambiguous social situations where people are unable to determine the appropriate mode of behavior, and is driven by the assumption that surrounding people possess more knowledge about the situation. The effects of social influence can be seen in the tendency of large groups to conform to choices which may be either correct or mistaken, a phenomenon sometimes referred to as herd behavior. Although social proof reflects a rational motive to take into account the information possessed by others, formal analysis shows that it can cause people to converge too quickly upon a single choice, so that decisions of even large groups of individuals may be grounded in very little information (see information cascades). We are social by design and one of the most powerful forces in marketing is the fear of isolation. "Social proof makes any decision other than using your company seem outside the norm" - Andy Crestodina, Orbit Media We are motivated to remain on the inside of our peer group, whether we know it or not, and will behave accordingly. We are social beings and fitting in (for most people) is a primary driver in shaping our use of technology, including apps. 76% of teens switch to a new social media app because their friends are already on it. 2 / 7
  • 3. mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org More From Graham Brown's Series on How to Sell Technology Change Your Metaphors: How great leaders sell technology These 2 Social Experiments Show How Stories Sell Technology Why you need to become a Farmer not a Hunter to sell technology Technology Companies need to Embrace the Unofficial or Die Why People Buy Technology: Social Proof “Because friends are already on it” was more important than reviews or ratings about the app. Even though the app may be a waste of time, it was more important that they followed the lead of their peer group. Which technology you choose, which brands you recommend and how much you are prepared to spend. Social proof shapes everything in marketing today. "When we're standing together next to each other and hearing from each other, is so much more powerful, and that turns up the dial on what people are willing to spend" - Rand Fishkin But don’t start jumping to the conclusion that this is about the power of social media. Social proof is not a new phenomenon, it has existed since time. HOW WE USED TO DO SOCIAL PROOF 3 / 7
  • 4. mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org Let’s go back a couple of hundred years. In the pre-consumerist era we knew where most things belonged in our world. We bought meat from the local butcher, barrels from the cooper and bread from the bakery. We trusted what we bought because we knew the people who made them. Today, however, things are very different. We don’t have those close personal relationships to trust so we turn to other trusted sources for direction. No longer are we dealing with the local butcher or baker, or brands from our own country with familiar faces we’re operating on a global playing field with brands from across borders so we have little base level of trust to operate from. Most people didn’t know that Nokia came from Finland before they bought their first phone. A lot of people still didn’t know where Finland was. The same could be said of the less travelled consumer and Samsung / South Korea. In the 20th century, we sought out advertising as a guide to fill this void. Advertising filled the social proof hole left by the decline in those former village relationships. 4 / 7
  • 5. mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org When Pepsi splashed Michael Jackson across its billboard campaigns and MTV airtime in the late 80s, it was a strong sign of social proof to every teenager watching. Why? Because Pepsi could afford to pay $25m to MJ because people like you were buying our cola. It was an era when we trusted brands simply because they were on TV. Marketers need to understand that advertising’s primary goal was creating social proof and if it no longer fulfils this goal it has become worthless. TRADITIONAL VS MODERN SOCIAL PROOF Traditional Modern Model Top-Down Model Bottom-Up Model Influencers Authorized celebrities e.g. DJs, magazine columnists, editors, celebrities, TV anchors, brand ambassadors, official reviewers (eg books, restaurants) Your friends, anonymous online reviewers, peers, word of mouth How it spreads Official endorsement, controlled channels, PR campaigns Peer-to-peer modeling and word of mouth SOCIAL PROOF PRESENTATION In this presentation, I share with you my insights on Social Proof in the post- 5 / 7
  • 6. mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org advertising era: * Why social proof works still today * Why social proof is not social media but inherent in our human nature * How social proof is moving away from celebrity and towards peer-to-peer transmission SOCIAL PROOF IN THE POST-ADVERTISING ERA In the digital era, advertising is no longer a monicker of trust or authority so we inevitably turn to people we trust, who we have access to, to shape our opinions. Brands still try and force their official narrative onto customers but in the technology industry this is a waste of time; this is no more than trying to teach a pig to sing. An advert alone does not confer social proof on a product like it used to. Everyone can advertise so everyone does advertise. Word of Mouth - Visualized (Photo credit: mvellandi) 6 / 7
  • 7. mobileYouth® - youth marketing and mobile culture analysis of the latest research, insights and trends by Graham D Brown http://www.mobileyouth.org 83% of youth bought their mobile handset based on what peers, not what ad agencies said, because peers are powerful sources of social proof. Nobody wants to be left holding the handset that will get them laughed at or unable to connect via the shared messenger apps that all the others have. The most powerful form of social proof in the post advertising era is connecting customers with each other. What can be more convincing that seeing someone else using that handset or helping one Subaru enthusiast talk to another? If the aim of the game for technology marketers is to create social proof, to create trust in the manufacturer that we once gained from those village relationships, we need to be investing our advertising budgets where it is needed - in peer recommendation. The best way to create Social Proof today is to stop trying to have a conversation with your customers and start connecting them - with each other, not with your brand. Powered by TCPDF (www.tcpdf.org) 7 / 7