Monday, August 31, 2009

As folks who shape behavior, we love these stories about the power of data

For folks in the communications industry, the challenge is often how to deepen people's involvement in a brand. Conventional thinking says give them a new way to think about an aspect of their lives - informed by some kind of insight - and it will achieve the effect.

Here are two timely reminders that 'doing' trumps 'thinking'. That action can be a more potent agent of deepening a bond than words or rhetoric, however well crafted and informed they may be.

It comes down to data. Not the sexiest of sounding inspirations, but the results have been nothing short of transformative in the lives of people who run. Thanks to affordable, portable technology, they've had a wealth of feedback that has shaped their workout behavior and increased their involvement. The results have been not just greater utility - which firmly enhances an appreciation of value - but also entertainment.

Turning exercise into data chronicles this story, from devices like the Nike Plus and Garmin Forerunner.

The Big Draw of a GPS Run is about getting creative with the route. People are using a city as a canvas to draw pictures using their run with the help of GPS technology.

Perhaps planners and engagement strategist would be better served identifying ways that data can be tapped to deepen involvement in other categories, rather than perpetuate the over-reliance on one-way monologue-based communications.