a framework for building meaningful omnichannel experiences

I believe in delivering and building meaningful experiences for todays consumers. As a creative-technologist i thought it would be meaningful to create a simple framework to bring together my thought process in one simple frame.

so here is what I believe in:

framework | meaning experiences

Couple of important elements to this frame:

Fundamentally – idea and technology need to work together for a meaningful experience. Technology is as important as the idea.

Data acts as a bridge between Science and Art of story telling. Data is the glue that binds marketing objectives and story telling channels.

Always Design for Humans – think about Human senses, Natural communication and Human ecosystem in mind when thinking of designing the experiences. If we design for humans as a philosophy, most likely than not we would be able to create/achieve Empathetic natural experiences as an outcome.

Real – Virtual – Emotional | connections – impact on our life

Everyday we wake up with a preoccupied set of thoughts that are connected to an outcome for the day, through the day. That set of thoughts continue to get complicated as we live through the day and the connections keep getting complex and complex; but somehow we live through it, make sense out of it.

IOT (the next wave of Digital era) isn’t really different, if you re analyze your day – you would realise that bunch of those thoughts and connections are now being made across “Digital” and “Physical” (Social Networks, Messaging, Emails, Voice, Websites, Mobile phones and so on). And if you were to expand this idea to everyday objects in your life (your watch, shoes, shirt, belt, bag, kitchen appliances, cars and so on) you would be able to wrap your head around the notion of “Highly Connected World” – Internet of Everything – IOT/IOE.

Simple truth about IOT is that there are going to be “n” number of connections that will be made either with your involvement or without your involvement but in the context of YOU (who you are, what you do, wherever you are and so on). All of these connections will help in creating an understanding of your life, events, activities, behaviors as has been the case in non-digital world. (before digital arrived) You were making all these connections by using an organic matter (your Brain) that internally leveraged millions of neurons in your brain (which is an interesting connections of senses) to sketch out the meanings that helped you take next course of action.

Think about –  your observation of your friend’s behaviour and suddenly you felt concerned about him. Series of events that you noticed about how your friend were missing classes, or hadn’t met you for multiple days or hasn’t been reachable / communicable – from these observations you derived insights that led you to reach out to him to check in on him.

Similarly, in new era – machines check on your routine, share observations, and derive insights (all automated – AI) that helps you always be in know how about your friends/family.

As the marketers learn to truly leverage Digital, it will become evidently clear that every single “Micro” moment that gets created between Brand and the Consumer lives in our brain somewhere. So, every time a new message or new “Micro” moment that gets thrown at us if doesn’t connect back to the previous one – the impact becomes lesser as our brain can not make the connection. And if there aren’t enough connections about the same object and the messaging it never really becomes an embedded experience for the consumer. So “Connections” in itself is an important pattern to explore and implement when Marketers are trying to develop consumers and keep them loyal to their brand.

That’s the real true purpose of all this – how do we use the technology to impact (Truly) the way we live, help us become better human beings. That is the true impact of “Connections” – Assembly of events that turn something into a memorable experience that helps me truly stay connected (human 2 human).

stories and artificial intelligence

As a young soul I was always fascinated by stories, stories of Rama and Arjuna, stories of freedom fighters and stories of superheroes (guess we all have been fans of larger than life heroes). It was always fascinating to hear about the superpowers that these heroes possessed, how they were able to overcome the odds and how they had a personal story – a wonderful journeys of their own ups and downs. As a kid it was almost as if I wanted to live their lives, always felt connected to their emotions.

As I grew up, to my surprise, I had my own stories to narrate – about my own journey – about my life at school, college with friends and now at various workplaces. It is fascinating that as human beings we have the power to build and narrate incidents, draw conclusions, share experiences and in the process emotionally involve the listener in our own world.

Stories are a wonderful tool, but when the same tool is to be used in a professional setup – advertisements, campaign ideas or business presentations – it becomes a difficult skill to master. It sounds ironical but true. The fundamental reason (to me) lies in the fact that stories are supposed to have souls and as professionals our decisions are driven by logic and rationale. It becomes difficult to turn a logical, rationale conversation into a story system – I have been challenged (and continue to be).

To overcome the challenge is possible. You could learn from inspirational leaders like Steve Jobs who had mastered the art of Story telling in a professional context, all the greats from advertising have been telling beautiful stories about the brands they work with.  Here is a great example:

This campaign completely nails the point – I personally love it for the fact that this is very bollywoodish in its over the top communication.

The reason we struggle with storytelling is the same as that of mastering intelligence. In other words, we have built machines with artificial intelligence. We have been able to teach computers how to make reason based decisions, in fact, we have been doing that for decades. However, we are not able to teach a computer non-rationale thinking? the reaction/emotion that humans have to situations without real rules, reasons or thinking.

I believe the day we would be able to create a machine that can narrate stories, conceive new worlds, imagine conditions that influence Human experiences – we would truly master intelligence.

Computing has seen advancement, we are marching towards a more complex neural network of data based machine learning and intelligence – sample IBM Watson, Wolfram knowledge engine and so on, these systems are bringing immense power of decision making to machines. IBM Watson can respond to a question in the same way a human would i.e. it knows what it knows and it knows what it doesn’t know. However, none of these systems are close to or close enough to a point when these machine could create Stories!

While we are some time away from creating artificially intelligent story telling system – there are ways in which machines are (already) becoming important part of our stories.

Here is a great example:

I am sure as we learn to master the art of story telling ourselves, we will be able to create machines that are truly human. I am an optimist, am exploring that everyday in the work that I do, experiences that I create and experiments that I build.