- Lead them
- Drive them
It’s actually that simple. Drive them or lead them. I don’t mean in a car and I do mean by the nose.
Getting into the Hearts and Minds of Males 3.0
I started a three part series on social concepts that will keep males on and attract them to web sites. The first was 3 Rules for Engaging Males in Social Site Behavior, Part 1 — Looking into the Mirror and part 2 was Engaging Males Through Images. My apologies to readers who’ve wondered what happened to part 3. I got a little busy.
In any case, part 3 is here and I’m calling it Males 3.0 because it deals with NextStage’s research into what some people are calling Web 3.0; the mobile web. Our research into this didn’t actually start with mobile web, it started a few years back when two different transportation giants came to us with the same problem; “We know our drivers are using their linkups while they’re driving. They’re not suppose to and we know they are. We need to make sure their eyes are more on the road than on their linkups.”
This information was interesting and not surprising. Anybody who lived through the 1970s remembers the boom in CB radios, much of it based on a song by “CB McCall”. Technology improved (as it always will) and CBs were replaced by other technologies (as an aside, I’ve been told naval radio operators aren’t required to learn Morse code anymore because modern radio technology is far more reliable. Sigh).
CBs weren’t a concern to surface navigation because most people driving in the 1970s had already been exposed to intrusive sounds while driving for several years. But intrusive visual stimuli? Whoa! Can you say “Heads Up Display”? This was documented in Reading Virtual Minds.
Transportation companies know what their drivers are doing thanks to DriveCam technologies. That’s not important, merely interesting. What is important is getting information to the drivers as rapidly and as understandably as possible so that their eyes will be on the road maximally and on their linkups minimally.
That’s what brings us back to Males 3.0 and mobile web. No, not the maximum information in minimal time part although that’s the actual link. It’s making a communication as immediately actionable as possible.
The emphasis in mobile web is Mobile, not web. Tie the above transportation company requirements with NextStage’s research on how people process information when they’re mobile (note: not when using mobile devices, but when they’re mobile, ie, moving. It just so happens that they’re often using mobile devices when they’re moving) and you get the requirements for reaching Males 3.0 (and Females 3.0, for that matter). You want the people you’re reaching to do something now.
Sending them a mobile message about the next day, week or month is pointless unless you’re tightly bound to them in their social network (and that’s an entirely different column). You’re concerned with immediate actionability. You want the recipient of your message to either stop what they’re doing, change what they’re doing or at least fit you in with what they’re doing.
Models of Immediate Actionability
Twitter allows a maximum of 144 characters per message. FaceBook allows tight, terse little messages with Status Updates feature. These are close and not quite there as far as Males 3.0 messaging goes. They are more or less immediate (if you’re monitoring those services, anyway) but they’re not actionable.
Here are some examples of Males 3.0 communications that create immediate actionability in the minds of recipients:
- Joseph’s writing his next AllBusiness.com column. Comment on InProgress posts now.
- Joseph needs your input for his column. Which color do you like 1) red or 2) blue? Check here for results.
- Hot coffee and fresh bagels at half price. Right at next light.
- (segment the above’s audience with) Hot, freshly roasted gourmet coffee and designer bagels. Right at next light.
What makes the above stand out as immediately actioinable items is that the call to action focuses on an immediate need on the part of the recipient. Hungry? Get a coffee and bagel here. Want to take part in Joseph’s work? Comment or check here.
The first two messages are what’s known as Leading, the last two as Driving.
Driving and Leading
Immediately actionable messages take two forms; they drive or lead and this is where psycholinguistics and neuroscience comes into the discussion. Driving style messages tend to work best with people who are known as “Towards” thinkers, Leading messages with those who are “AwayFrom” thinkers. The quickest way to think of it is that driving messages work best with messages about food, drink, entertainment, sex and community. Leading messages work best with messages about clothing, hairstyles, getting input/feedback, meeting places and planned activities.
The first two messages above ask for input/feedback. They are “participatory” and are, in essence, inviting you into some kind of community relationship, first with Joseph and then with others taking part in his work. They lead into taking action with a promise of reward, literally a psychological movement from where you are to where the author wants you to be.
The second two messages satisfy an immediate need, hunger. Driving messages are much simpler because they can be thought of as “Hungry now. Eat here. Un-gow! (as Tarzan often said to his jungle friends)” and that, as any woman can tell you, goes right to the heart of the male emotional psyche.
Please contact NextStage for information regarding presentations and trainings on this and other topics.
Links for this post:
- Social media & consumer preference
- Using Images to Create Visitor Rapport or “That Little Look…”
- The Importance of Viral Marketing
- Making Good on Past Promises – Music Use on the Web
- Using Sound and Music on Websites
- Headlines That Attract Attention
- New Communications Forum 2008 22-25 April 08 in Sonoma Valley, CA
Come on by and say hello.
Sign up for the NextStage Irregular, our very irregular, definitely frequency-wise and
probably topic-wise newsletter.