From Actions to Beliefs:
Generating a Theory of Data in Content Creation, Marketing and Selling. Every generation starts with the same fundamental problem. Namely to define itself and its identity as a collective and differentiate itself from its parent group. Every individual within the generation also struggles with the same problem and the issues it raises at a personal level.
There is a granularity here, the simplicity of which gives rise to very complex phenomena. Identity curation as both a personal and a generational activity, in the past, created distinct groups that were defined by style and taste, music and art. These led to the formation of distinct sets of ideas, values and beliefs that informed and, in many ways, formed the worldview of each.
Our parents believed in very distinct things and had a way of behaving that we, as their children, rebelled against and formed our own. Our own children follow the same behavioral template as will their children.
Things have changed
. Data, collectively, gives rise to culture. Culture defines the context of its time. But context will always change data, making some more or less relevant which will affect its value. Clearly defined sets of data that marked a generation required opacity and incompatibility in the way information crossed the generation divide.
Rock and roll threatened the pre-war generation because they saw it as an anarchic, immoral, destabilizing influence. Much the same way that the post-war generation viewed punk rock. Each wave of music came with its own cultural language, behavioral modalities and dress styles. Its arrival threatened the existing ‘world order’ of its elders by threatening their set of values, beliefs and ideas.
The key thing here is that each generation safely inhabited a bubble created out of its own context. That context determined the value of the data it generated and the data it encountered. Because each generation was the status quo by definition its primary, knee-jerk response to the challenge of the young was demonization (of a sort) and denial.
Time and cultural evolution worked to eventually dethrone the reigning elders and replace them with “new blood” which would become ensconced, moving things forward until their turn would also come.
Technology with its emphasis on the speed of transmission of information and hyper-connectivity has changed the game.
levels the playing field by challenging the identity of both established and upcoming groups. By exposing both to the same, massive flow of data it creates a bi-directional flow of information that informs tastes and style, music and art. Their ideas may now be similar. Their worldviews coinciding. There will be differences because of experience. This only adds to the sense of dissonance felt by each.
Consider how in this environment you need to market a new product or a service; promote a brand. Without adequate personalization and a way of truly connecting the ‘seller’ with the ‘buyer’ it is unlikely that there will be much success. The decision-making process that leads to the next level is impacted by the diffusion of identity and the struggle for differentiation at a personal level. Generations find it difficult to say who they truly are or what they stand for. Individuals struggle to curate their identity.
The solution to this may be relatively simple: actions are the building blocks of data because they create impactful, measurable moments. Actions are guided by emotion which drives motivation. Emotion arises out of perception. Perception is informed by attention
and a sense of self (identity) which guides behavior.
Knowing who you are
is the first step to truly understanding what you want, what you value and what you have to do to get to where you want to.