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Can mobile phones achieve Human Dialogue?

2011-02-12 - 07:51 GMT

Can mobile phones achieve Human Dialogue?

Mobile marketing is in a pretty strange middle ground. On the one hand it can achieve mass communications in a manner that no other medium can imagine. On the other it’s an incredibly personal means of communication, and if you abuse that it will turn people against you. According to a new marketing body, Human Dialogue, the way to achieve personal mass marketing is through knowledge of human psychology.

To understand what Human Dialogue does, you should be aware of the two concepts it bases its platform on.

Choice Architecture: the idea behind “choice architecture” is that if you present a choice to someone in the right way, you can effectively guarantee they’ll make the choice you want them to. You do this by designing the choice in the right way – literally, by paying attention to the architecture of your presentations. You can see an example based around mobile coupons on the Human Dialogue website:

Behavioural Economics: so, how do you construct that choice? Human Dialogue does it through behaviuoral economics, the study of how human emotion and social behaviour effects economic decisions – the borrowing, spending, buying and investing behaviour of consumers and investors alike. Human Dialogue uses behavioural economics as the basis of its choice architecture, claiming that by understanding the way that people make choices, you can better influence how they’ll respond to the choice you present them.

So, what does Human Dialogue actually do?

It has launched the Choice Architecture Marketing Platform. This is effectively a consultation platform. It won’t launch your campaign for you. Instead, you send them your planned campaign (or even just a list of objectives), and Human Dialogue will apply behavioural economics and choice architecture to it. Various options will be created and discussed by panels within the company, and you will receive a “human optimized” version of your campaign back.

This costs, of course. You have to buy HD credits:

What we think?

In the tradition of the best mobile marketing companies, Human Dialogue is amazingly vague on certain points. For example, I get the impression that they will put the psychological whammy on any kind of mobile marketing message – be it a display, SMS, rich media or social networking campaign. But I’ve got no definite proof of that, or maybe I just couldn’t find it on the website.

Whatever the case, I’m hugely in favor of this kind of thinking. You can’t just throw traditional marketing techniques at people over mobile. Well, you can, but I don’t think it’s very effective. You need a better understanding of people work on a personal level – and the reason you need that is because the mobile is such a personal device. So it should come as no surprise that the panels at the heart of Human Dialogue are formed of people from Every Single One Of Us – an organization dedicated to just this sort of humanization process for marketing. What I would love to see is a working example from Human Dialogue. I’d love to see what a campaign looks like when they get it, and what it looks like when they send it back.

Of course, from the point of view of a consumer that will be targeted by one of these campaigns, it might sound like a horrifying Orwellian mess. “They’re doing what!?

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