Dramatic Improvements in the Technology That Powers B.S. Detectors

Nirvana: The Ultimate in B.S. Detection.

Nirvana: The Ultimate in B.S. Detection.

There’s no question that portable technologies have improved dramatically since the early ’90s: mobile phones and computers existed then, but they work so much better now and everybody has them. In fact, they take these super-sophisticated tools with them everywhere they go.

But that’s not the only technology of which you can make that statement, and this one is as important or perhaps even more important to modern marketers than computers and mobile phones.

Of course, I’m talking about today’s high-tech B.S. Detectors.

As a Gen Xer, I can regale you with stories from the early days, when B.S. Detection technologies were exciting and new, but crude. For every RUN-DMC saying “Calvin Klein is no friend of mine/don’t want nobody’s name on my behind,” we had an LL Cool J telling us he was Bigger and Deffer, which clearly was not the case.

By the early ’90s of course, the Voice of Our Generation (or whatever) called his greatest artistic work “Nevermind.”

We knew exactly how he felt. Stupid and contagious.

Since then, the B.S. Detection industry has done nothing but skyrocket. Gen Y has taken it to levels that we couldn’t have imagined, sometimes so cynical about what they’re being told that they don’t even actually know if they’re being sarcastic or not. It makes you proud.

But the point is that while this technology may have some annoying side effects, its main purpose is to see through nonsense, shenanigans, jibber-jabber and insincerity. And you should just see what happens when you put mindless condescension in front of these devices! Readings just go right off the chart and it makes a hell of a screech. I think they use Gilbert Gottfried’s voice for the screech.

And the point is this: whether you’re talking about kids, men, young adults or whatever audience you’d like to get but can’t, you simply cannot condescend. You can’t start by insisting they SHOULD want your tickets.

As Stephen Covey said “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” It’s always been true, but my advice to marketers is that now more than ever, your audience sees through a fake or a façade. You don’t have to be either if you’re genuinely interested in the customers you’re trying to reach.

And since all those B.S. Detectors are out there, pinging so much of the time in reaction to the marketing they encounter, it’s a huge plus for your show or organization when your communication comes back clean!

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