Be Wary of Applying Captology to Marketing Enterprise IT Software

The concept of Captology is defined by Dr. B.J. Fogg of Stanford University’s Persuasive Tech Lab as “the study of computers as persuasive technology.”

We think that this concept may be highly relevant to the momentary experience of individual visitors to web sites and, perhaps, to attendees of online presentations. However, we think the concept is of little value to product marketing for enterprise IT products. Therefore, innovative tech businesses will do well to curtail most efforts to incorporate the principles of online experience that are implicit to this concept in their online marketing communications plans.

It is worth noting that curtailing these efforts may be difficult. In our opinion, a substantial amount of the theory behind the “value” of web 2.0 online marketing (social media, such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook) is built on principles of Captology. Therefore, it was helpful for us to visit the web site of the Persuasive Tech Lab where we could read their opinion of the power of comments on Facebook, the power of Twitter to influence online behavior, etc. When we connected the dots we were satisfied that, finally, we had achieved some clarity as to why availing of social media has generally produced poor results for enterprise IT ISVs.

In fact, complex purchase decisions are not made as the result of momentary experiences of individuals. The opposite experience is, in fact, more usually the norm. These purchase decisions are made over time as project plans evolve from the contributions of many team members. Attempting to influence the behaviors of a group of team members is difficult and, we think, a spurious activity. It is only through a specific, quantified analysis of costs in comparison to the savings represented by an implementation of a specific enterprise IT software solution that a dependable, solid purchase decision can be made.

In sum, we think that the role of Captology within the social media marketing communications strategies of Enterprise IT ISVs need to be rethought if Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn are to deliver the impressions, contacts, and even leads implicit to marketing plans. If you agree with our opinion you may want to contact us as we can save you precious time and effort as you reformulate your social media communications strategy. You can contact us online or telephone us at +1 631-673-2929. The first 15 mins of any consultation is always on us.

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2012 All Rights Reserved

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