Right now I’m doing what most single-task males would consider a foolish task at best. Attempting to read two books at once.
It wasn’t an intentional move – I’m not that stupid, but as the various US-based social networks and people I follow started to come alive with pre-release reviews of The Age of Context by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel, I gave in and had it delivered to my Kindle in under thirty seconds.
Digital won so I’ve started a book I’m going to have to read a couple of times in succession.
The argument of context has always been something I’ve treated with the utmost respect and rigidity ever since I landed my first copywriting job at Acer. The idea that a marketing activity (product naming, event, social media strategy) can be created without context removes all trace of coherence from the message the brand wishes to convey. It’s so obvious that I’m still astounded when I see SMB’s (and some large companies) launch activities with clearly no idea of the context that activity will have to do battle in.
That’s advertising. Things get worse when you start trying to encapsulate a social media strategy into a process that doesn’t consider the context of the activity. Big mistakes are made when companies lose sight of the context but at least here they get to react to critical feedback almost in real time.
But what about the whole system of commerce and communication? As The Age of Context itself states on the very first page: “The five forces of context are everywhere. [They] are changing your experience as a shopper, a customer, a patient, a viewer or an online traveler… They know where you are and in what direction you are headed when you carry a smartphone. They are in your car to warn you when you are too close to something else. They are in traffic lights, stores and even pills… … All five of these forces – mobile, social media, data, sensors and location – are in the hands of more people every day, and it means that every business will have to adjust course to include context in their strategies.
Mobile, social media, data, sensors and location. Now that’s a marketing shift.