Scientists recently did an experiment. What would happen if you put a hamster wheel out in the forest? No food. No red button to press to get a treat. Just the wheel, an open door and a motion activated cam.

Mice, rats, shrews, voles, lots of little guys who were obviously not getting enough exercise showed up. They ran. They came back again and again. It turns out hamster wheels aren’t just for the incarcerated. When the scientists took it away, they all kept showing up wondering why the gym had closed.

If you take a proven concept and place it in a new context, you may find out things about your audience that you didn’t know. What actually motivates them. What they are really thinking. Why they are responding the way they do.

Contextual awareness is the next major hurdle in marketing. The goal is being aware of your customers changes in location, behavior, interests and needs at any given moment, as those moments change. Do you truly understand what makes your customers tick?

 

photo credit: Philip Roberts @flickr.com