Humans have been trying to influence behavior for hundreds of years. Do all the available technologies like gaming, mobile apps, the internet, kiosks, smart environments, etc. really change a person’s perception drastically? The Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab creates insight into how computing products are changing behavior called “Captology”. They think it’s possible in categories like health, business, safety, and education. They anticipate this trend to continue, especially as mobile phones become more capable of running software from third parties and the internet.
I think regardless of the vehicle or technology, the approach still needs to fulfill an actual need like entertainment, improving efficiency, helping me with my business, tracking spending, etc. Form should follow function. There needs to be a payoff for the end-user and the client. I see daily technology pushing forward in this category but at what costs?
Are we too reliant on these technologies to give us a golden ticket to do whatever we want to influence others? I see them as things that remain the same when it comes to the core of human behavior. It’s the cultural or societal influences that make the difference from one generation to another based upon their value system. From a marketer’s perspective, it’s having a great strategy and a firm understanding of human behavior, their value system, and it’s influencers that should dictate the most effective direction in interacting with people. People want their needs met and want to be truly understood. Consumers are very sensitive and savvy about what many companies do to persuade their behavior. My advice would be to never underestimate your audience.