January 20, 2021By Michael Vickers, executive director, Summit Learning Systems
According to Robin Dunbar, a professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford, humans cannot maintain more than 150 friendships, and five close friendships, at any given time. The problem lies with the hardwired limitations of brain size, attention span, and the amount of time needed to nurture close relationships (particularly in the middle of a pandemic).
Using phone data from 35 million users and 6 billion calls, Dunbar determined that there was “strong evidence for the existence of a layered structure” between call frequency and how strong the relationship was. In other words, the frequency of communication diminishes the more relationships or connections a person has. After all, there is only so much of you to go around.
In a crowded and competitive marketplace, customers are not inclined to develop personal and loyal relationships with brands; instead they’ll opt for a quick search to get the highest-quality product at the lowest price, delivered as quickly as possible.
This transactional mind-set is a challenge for today’s sales and marketing departments, as they know they have to make the interaction personal. The trick will be how best to do it, and do it at scale in an authentic way.