Legos, Tinker Toys and Facebook’s ‘Emotional Contagion’
Don E. Schultz
AMA Marketing News
Modern management approaches have taught us to think in linear terms, from here to there. How high up? How far down? How does that work? Who is she? What is he doing? Miles and yards and feet and inches. Separate, individual, unique. Good and bad. If one thing is connected to another, it’s done in a straight line, the shortest distance between the two points. It’s the world that management gurus have created for us and the rules by which we play.
That linear, absolutist, rational and logical thinking has been transferred to much of our marketing and communication thinking, our research and the applications that we develop. While we like to think that we’re scientists or researchers, today it seems that we’re more geometricians than scientists. We work in lines and angles and totals, profits and losses and scores, and counting and investments and returns, and on and on. It’s linear and easily connected, and therefore easily explained or at least easily quantified. Count them up, put them in a pile, number the piles and there you have a market, or what we call a market: a group of people whom we have gathered together because they have some common denominator such as age, sex, geography, ability to procreate, years of school and so on.