The Personal Cybersphere | R2: “Response”


We hope that you’re enjoying this series on The Personal Cybersphere (see Introduction and R1: Recognition), and that you have embraced the challenge of penetrating this barrier erected by your potential Digital Customers.

Let's suppose that your Brand has successfully passed the first hurdle: it is recognised by the “Always-On” Consumer as a relevant, 21st Century Brand. She has entered your e-store, was intrigued by your Social Media advergame and is now considering signing up to receive your newsletter.
Welcome to your next challenge, the Second R of the Cybersphere: RESPONSE.
R2 is actually a double-edged sword, because it cuts both ways. The first imperative is to move your potential new customer to ACTION, to have him respond to your offer or message in some way.
Yet, once he has, the other side of the coin depends on YOU: it is equally as essential that your company respond BACK to him in the most revelant and correct way.
If you don’t the story will end there. Your Brand won’t proceed to the next “R”, Respect. And you might lose a potential sale – or long-term customer – forever.
RESPONSE is not as easy as it looks. To begin with, it is vital that you know about the importance of FLOW and to communicate to the right person, in the right way, at the right time.
In the 1990s, “Flow” was a celebrated theory about happiness, penned by Hungarian author Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Paul Fleming later adopted the idea to Interactive Marketing, based on the ground-breaking work by Jim Sterne. In the first days of the Web, it was important to capture users’ FULL attention in a website that was fast and easy to understand. If they entered Flow, then they would click right through from the Home Page to more information and potential sales.
00 Cybersphere R2
Of all the “Four Rs”, the second one, Response, is perhaps the most critical. 
Today, Net users need to both FLOW and FLY. The inspiring song by R. Kelley, “I Believe I Can Fly!” is a great way to think of your Digital Customers. Thanks to 4G and fibre-optics, mobile devices and WIFI, they are literally flying: to information, entertainment and products they desire.
Don’t cut their Flow!
Amazon is brilliantly aware of Flow. In very brief TV spots during commercial breaks in the UK for Downton Abbey, they were careful not to traumatically “yank” fans of the series out of the 1920s into a hard-sell pitch of 2015. Their very short ads were customised to fit the series, in the engaging videos you see above.

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Many other Brands are not as wise . They insist on using the Interruption Model and push their message in an unwelcome way via pop-ups, video pre-rolls and other means that actually creates Anti-Marketing. According to research, 94% of YouTube users skip pre-roll adverts within 5 seconds! The advertiser is cutting their flow (in a shameless way, we might ad). That Brand will not activate R2, Response, but rather another “R”: REJECTION.
It might seem that consumers who are always connected will be always available to respond to you. Not at all. They have their lives to lead, and innovators such as Google know that very well. In all of their advertising models, the new emphasis of the California giant is on seeking out (and satisfying) the “Micro Moments” that come up during each day of our lives (see video above).
This type of “Mindful Marketing” is an excellent way to get past the Second R of the Cybersphere and generate a sincere interest and response by your potential customer. Your message won’t cut their Flow and annoy them because it arrives for the right person, with the right solution, at the right time.
According to Tom Uglow of Google Creative Lab, we have moved from centuries of Static Information to a new paradigm: Fluid Information.
If your Digital Customers believe they can fly, do you flow and fly with them?
Key Points
  • R2, the second hurdle of the Personal Cybersphere, is RESPONSE
  • To obtain a response, you must understand the concept of Flow
  • Time your message to come at the correct “Micro Moment”
  • Never cut customers’ Flow. They’ll reject you immediately.

Read the entire series:

Introduction · R1: Recognition · R2: Response · R3: Respect · R4: Relationship

Download the Eurobest presentation:
Free download of Paul Fleming's speech at Eurobest 2015 in Antwerp, Belgium

* “The Cybersphere, A Theory in Full Expanision: Sociology, As Well As Advertising, Validates a New Thesis about the Digital Generation”. CONTROL, September 2001.

"The Personal Cybersphere" and "The 4 Rs" are  © Copyright Paul W. Fleming.

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