Video calls and video-conferences have really become a thing with the coronavirus. A good thing? Not necessarily.
Never ask a grandmother if she wants to video conference with her grandmonsters. If she knows how, you already know the answer. Those moments are priceless, even if the monsters are being totally goofy. There are all sorts of activities to do with the grandkids on these calls.(1)
Ask a consumer if she wants to do a Zoom meeting with a sales person, and most of the time, the answer will be a polite “no, thank you” or even a less polite response.
Ask an employee if he/she wants to do her 14th Zoom meeting of the week, and the employee might just start to scream.
Mike Elgan calls that “Zoom fatigue” and argues that the time wasted in these sessions is totally destructive for corporate morale and productivity.(2) That’s probably true, in the same way that overuse of anything is a turnoff. In research, we used to measure how much communication customers want from vendors. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and most advertising doesn’t qualify as good. Anyone seen an ostrich lately?
With the Web minimizing the cost of barraging consumers with messages, advertisers are back to pounding on consumers. Media companies are talking about “clicks” and “actions” rather than sales (which they either can’t measure or don’t show any results worth talking about) and clients are paying less attention to ad effectiveness because with the lower cost, it isn’t so vital to track it. If they think about it at all. Sometimes corporations don’t think. They mindlessly do.