“Up until now the knowledge of human behaviour has been based on the insights of Homo oeconomicus. Here it is assumed that a person desires to maximise his advantage and doesn’t rely on selfless support […].In contrast, the human side […] the Homo dictyous image of man, reveals the so-called social network human, the human side”.
The fact that Silke Alksnis introduced her Bachelor thesis in such an impressive way meant that it naturally belongs in the series of lectures at respondi. Miss Alksnis presented her final paper here on the 31st March 2011. In this way, she paved the way for a series of lectures to be held at the respondi headquarters, which aim to incorporate the external knowledge into the day-to-day business at respondi. The lecture focused on the possibilities of social media as a marketing instrument for the market research and also for the initiative „Say yes to Germany’s Market and Social research”. The aim of the initiative is to inform the public about tasks and aims of market and social research, in order to clarify the difference between direct marketing and sales. I would be pleased to advocate this scheme by DGOF, ADM and BVM. A representative home page (www.deutsche-marktforscher.de), radio campaigns, and „Say-yes“ logos are a good start for the branch.
In her lecture, Silke Alksnis introduced me to another perspective in which to increase the range of this initiative. She suggested an online platform; a virtual table at which all interested groups, consumers, institutes and providers sit together and exchange ideas. Finally, in a strength and weaknesses analysis, she concludes with the possibility of integrating it into the social network. Here, Ms Alksnis pointed out that the collaboration with social media and especially with the market leader, Facebook, could be risky for the image of market research. Currently, the general public is very loud in its criticism towards Facebook and its position on data privacy. Strict compliance of data privacy guidelines is of paramount importance to market research. The guidelines and personal views on this subject are, to all intents and purposes divergent, „No data privacy laws are modern” say Ms. Alksnis. Most of all the digital natives, people for whom the internet medium is a natural part of their daily life, do not hesitate to put personal details online. The tendency to be more cautious with regards to data misuse increases with age, according to an online study by ARD/ZDF.
Frau Alksnis suggested an alternative to Facebook, namely „Diaspora“. This platform could be the next network which transports the aims of market research to the virtual public, without coming under suspicion of having a slack attitude on the subject of data protection. The advantage of the platform is a decentralised database, which facilitates a better data protection, which the user wants. However, as Homo dictyous knows all too well; in order for a network to function properly it needs a critical mass audience. This does not mean that the people should have a critical opinion, rather a number of motivated members.
The lecture and the subsequent discussion called to mind two findings. Firstly, one can never tire of discussing social media and secondly let us use modern media to accentuate old virtues; for example quality. Then I am very happy to be a Homo dictyous.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ms Alksnis for the interesting and perceptive lecture.