Evolutionary Marketing?

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There’s an emerging field in science called evolutionary medicine in which the causes for some diseases and chronic afflictions are found in the conflicts between the varied rates of change among human beings, the pathogens that haunt them, and the context of the environment in which it all exists.

It’s an interesting model to explain autoimmune disorders, like Crohn’s, which have emerged since we improved our hygiene and killed the parasites that used to live in our guts. Our bodies still expect them to be there and go about attacking themselves; enough evolutionary cycles haven’t passed to rewire our systems yet. Ditto for higher rates of cancer (we get it more often than other species), since the potentially deadly aspects of our environment have changed more quickly than our bodies. The outcomes are based on these disconnects…

Isn’t there a similar disconnect between how fast and widespread the changes have been in technology and culture, and how our human minds (and souls) are still pretty much identical to what they were in the 14th Century? For instance, maybe the growth in social media popularity isn’t because consumers are embracing it, but rather a symptom of their alienation from other media. Would this perspective change the way we use it?

I wonder what would happen if we marketers spent less time believing that our job is to embrace the new and instead better understood the conflicts with what’s old.

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Original Post: http://dimbulb.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/01/evolutionary-marketing.html