Issue.6 - Time & Consumer Psychology In Crisis
It's 2023. How do people think? How do clocks ticks?
There is this concept in marketing called “Social Proof” and it regards the fact that as consumers, we only tend to trust the quality of a product or service if we hear about it from another person!
For this reason I pushed the feedback mural section to the top!
Today I bring some very inspiring feedbacks which I would like to share.
East, west… Home’s best!
Ahoy sailors! Welcome back to Agency.
How has the month of March been treating you?
I hope new opportunities are knocking on the door and you are finding the time to take care of your brain and mind! 🧠
Listen, don’t push yourself too hard. Be present and intentional rather than just productive.
“Stop measuring days by degree of productivity and start experiencing them by a degree of presence.”
Today’s subject is quite complex. I will bring some data as much as I will bring inquisitive arguments that might even make you a little uncomfortable.
Nevertheless, this issue has the necessary depth (like a huge iceberg on our way to success) and is essential to understanding the mind of your present and future consumers.
Wear your life jacket. The sea will become turbulent.
6.1 The Illusion of Time
And how to purchase it.
Think about this: All the content that I have been publishing here is sent via email to the subscribers of the newsletter. (We are currently 800 sailors!)
As soon as I send it. It already becomes irrelevant.
In a matter of minutes, it gets buried underneath a dozen other promotional emails in your inbox and in case you don’t save it or send it to someone, it will get lost in the sea of information within your inbox. (If you forward it to someone, you will easily remember how to find it in the future because you forever related it to someone in your memory.)
It loses relevance, but it doesn’t really get old and decompose. It is actually frozen in time. As a digital publication, these words are forever documented on the internet. Saved in the database of Substack or in the database of your email.
It might not be useful or interesting for you today. But it might be in the future in case you need marketing ideas. Time is just a matter of perception. Relevance is a matter of priority.
Studying the concept of time is the most fundamental key to understanding how your consumers see the world. Because it is very similar to how you perceive it, and I will prove it.
We are all subject to the cultural and technological contexts we live in.
Let’s be honest, who actually has the time (or mental energy) to go through such big chunks of text and patiently read and digest this information I have been sharing? Why would someone study marketing in a written newsletter or a book when there are thousands of videos teaching it out there?
People don’t have the time 🕛 to read things and neither your consumers. Those who are able to read though, are able to slow down the clock of time.
What takes you 5 minutes to read (1250 words), probably takes you 20 minutes to watch.
People don’t have the interest/energy ⚡ to read things and neither do your consumers. Reading is exhausting while watching TikTok or Netflix or Scrolling down on social media isn’t. It’s actually anesthetizing in a different way.
How does TikTok make you feel? Entertained.
How do painkillers usually make you feel? Sleepy.
Reading is a habit for a slow lifestyle.
The style of our lives today is the opposite of slow.
It is like a Porsche Tycan speeding through a highway without absolutely no obstacle on the way whatsoever. Roaming at FULL SPEED. With the pistons pumping force and feeding fuel, speed, and momentum into the combustion chamber, making the vehicle BLAZE through the road like an electric bolt. ⚡
This is life today. For you and for me. Not for Wiston though.
Because our behavior is defined by the pace at which we consume information.
In other words.
The information consumption rate defines the rhythm of every single aspect of our lives.
“Hey, Thiago. Who is Wiston?” Someone yells from another boat.
A Life in Tranquility (Fiction)
Winston is a farmer who lives in a rural zone not far from a city, but far enough to be able to see stars in the sky at night and birds singing in the morning. Wiston is not an old person but he is “analogic”, he likes feeling the sun on his thick farmer skin and the dirt on his calloused fingers. He likes real physical work, not clicking a mouse, tapping an app button, or typing characters on a keyboard.
He doesn’t like technology or screens. He likes his crops. He finds joy and purpose in the craft of cultivation and agriculture because it is his livelihood. Due to that, his life circulates entirely around his crops. His clock ticks to the rhythm of nature.
Because he plants corn. Corn cultivation has a lifecycle of approximately 90 days. He doesn’t need to worry about anything but that. And nature is slow. As is the growth of corn. So if there is one thing he has, is time.
Don’t forget that he is a disconnected person though.
So how would you say he spends his free time?
Well, he can’t immerse himself in Netflix series or spend time replying to WhatsApp messages as he doesn’t have screens around. He also doesn’t spend time seeing what people post on Instagram about their perfect life in the city. He just doesn’t care about that.
What he does care about are some good old-west stories. Cowboys venturing out towards small towns and earning their reputation while surviving in a no man’s land. Men riding horses and camping out in the wild while cooking their own hunt.
That is the definition of adventure for Winston.
But how can he find stories like these?
Stories that are rich in detail and that nurture his imagination with feelings so that he can pass the time while his corn grows mature. Pure entertainment.
How about you? How does the clock ticks in your life? Well, at the same pace that you receive and consume information. You get bombarded by emails every day. You receive a minimum of 5 anxiety-inducing news from sensationalist outlets per day. You scroll through posts and stories of dozens and dozens of people per day. You exchange messages on multiple apps with multiple people at once. Dozens of memes, notifications, credit card charges, promotional ads, agency newsletters, phone calls, car honks in traffic, video calls, intrusive thoughts, cute motivational gifs from your aunts…
Hey. How can you even manage all of that?
You are a true hero for running this marathon.
But maybe you didn’t sign up for it.
And now you are stuck in it.
Shall we break the cycle?
Why are you even running?
You were supposed to be flying.
6.2 Welcome to Nihilism
Is there a meaning in life?
How do you feel about philosophy?
Do you find it boring?
Don’t really have an opinion?
In a nutshell, philosophy is the science of observation.
When you observe something, you start making questions. Whether you are observing yourself, or external things. Like an ant crawling up your coffee mug.
“Where did this ant come from? There must be an infestation in the office. The sugar must have attracted it. How must it feel to be so tiny? How can it climb things? What happens if it dives into my cold mug of coffee? Can ants die from a caffeine overdose? Would it go to the heaven of coffee? Would it be missed by its ant family? Well. I will leave it be, go for it, little ant!”
Observing an ant might feel like a useless thing to do, but it exercises your observation capacities. Our capacity to rationalize and connect dots. You start navigating through questions (dots) when you suddenly find yourself interested in caffeine overdose. “Is there such thing as caffeine overdose?” You ask yourself. “What is caffeine overdose”, You ask google. You find yourself on the Wikipedia page of “Caffeine” and you find out everything about caffeine. Especially, that it can cause sleep disruption or anxiety. You found a potential solution to an actual problem (anxiety) as a byproduct of investigating the existence of ants!
The problem though is that you can get stuck in a loop, you might become obsessed with ants or coffee. Or even worse. You can get stuck in a particular school of thinking. Like Nihilism.
Nihilism is most often associated with Friedrich Nietzsche.
I will tell you right away why I don’t like this guy and why I don’t have any of his books anymore.
A nihilistic mindset is concerning. From the root word, nihil, meaning: nothing. This mindset encompasses feelings of meaninglessness where nothing in life, work, or society holds any meaning.
That is how Nietzsche saw life. That is how he lived his life.
Search anywhere and you will find out that his bitter way of seeing life resulted in… a bitter life. A profoundly bitter and sad death.
In a nutshell, Nietzsche pointed out that life is an “every man for himself” journey and that you can be either a slave or a master. It only depends on how much of an individualist you can truly be and on how many people you step on your way to the top.
The Turin Horse (2011) is a movie about his mental breakdown. It is, and I can say this with property, the saddest thing I ever watched. It took me 1 week to digest the movie and the nihilistic uppercut hit me to the core.
“This is not the way.” I thought.
Gladly, I'm passionate about philosophy. Not Nietzsche nor Nihilism. So by making the right questions I realized it was only one perspective out of infinite ways of seeing life.
When you gaze into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into you
Chill, Nietzsche. How about:
The more you shine a light inside a cave, the deeper you can go.
But my point is: Philosophy is medicine for inertia because it will question your values and make you reinvent yourself.
It will help you identify the problems that need to be solved by making you aware of what is hidden right in front of your eyes.
6.3 Welcome to Liquid Modernity
How solid are you?
In a perfect counterpoint, Zygmunt Bauman was a philosopher that used his incredible intellectual capacities to identify the problems of society in our era. (Rather than just complain about life like Nietzsche)
Bauman coined the term: “Liquid Modernity” because as a long-time sociologist, he was able to understand and identify what was really happening to the post-modern society as a result of the advent of connectivity in the information age.
"We are living an interconnected transition that creates an unprecedented new environment for activities and the individual life, the transition from the solidity of Modernism to the liquidity of Post-Modernism. That is, to a condition where social organizations (structures that limit individual choices, institutions that assure the repetition of routines, and acceptable human behavior) can't maintain their form for much time because they decompose and dissolve faster than it takes to mold them."
Bauman, Z. (2007). Liquid Times living in an age of uncertainty.
In other words, things are moving so fast nowadays that people can't find something to cling themselves to. Social, economic, and production relations are fragile, fleeting, and malleable, like liquids.
“The modern variety of insecurity is distinctively characterized by fear of maleficence and human wrongdoers, triggered by suspicion of other human beings and their intentions, and by refusal to rely on the constancy and reliability of human companionship, generating awkwardness and/or unwillingness to make that companionship lasting and secure, and therefore reliable.”
Bauman, Z. (2007). Liquid Times living in an age of uncertainty.
As a result of liquidity all around us, people have a hard time trusting things. You have a hard time trusting things. People are lacking the capacity to judge because they are lacking the energy to think.
At the same time, they are feeling tired of being deceived by others, but also by brands and companies.
This takes us to the conclusion.
6.4 Selling a Solid Solution
A trustworthy brand.
We are all on our boats, right? And you want people to join yours, whether they are new consumers or new partners and employees.
As soon as you offer a place in your boat to someone, this person will doubt your intentions.
Because all they see around them are weak, fragile, and worn-out boats with paddles that might break at any given moment.
Even though you are offering them something to cling to, to remove them from the liquidity of the water, they will doubt you because of all the arguments mentioned above.
So if an undeniable boat and paddles should be built for the consumers of today and tomorrow, how do we do it?
Well, we have been talking about it all along and we will continue talking about it in future issues.
Over and out!
6.5 Pandora’s Box
A Fresh Digest on my latest discoveries and some other things.
6.5.1 In the Lenses of Thi
6.5.2 Chords 🎶
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About the Author
Made in 1996. Born & Raised Brazillian. Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising and Communication. Adept to autodidactism. Curious Soul. Published Author. Founder of Sentient.
That’s me in a nutshell but you can learn more about Agency and myself on the About page!
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