In the movie Jurassic Park, Jeff Goldblum’s character Dr. adidas originals outlet Ian Malcolm makes a miraculous observation when he says “your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could (make dinosaurs) that they didn’t stop to think if they should.” Ahhh the difference between can and should is important when making dinosaurs — and it’s equally important in marketing and communications. You see, back in prehistoric times (before the Internet) yes, the 1990’s, marketing used to cost money. adidas zx flux uomo You had to invest some resources, buy things, have things printed, mailed and THAT put your skin in the game. Thus, there was a consideration step to determine whether this target was appropriate, etc. I remember it well. moncler on sale But today, thanks to technology, many believe that marketing is “free” and why send one free e-mail (or freemail) when you can send one million? Why indeed! I will submit to you that marketing still costs something — your credibility, your reputation, your customer relationships—and you put these very valuable items on the line every time you decide to communicate. Believe it. Marketing’s guiding light is something we haven’t seen in since dinosaurs roamed the earth—EMPATHY.
We humans LOVE to tell ourselves little stories. From the time we are very small, we learn about our world through them, entertain ourselves with them and literally create reality for ourselves using them. adidas sandali But are they really true? And if so, what makes them true. I mean, what are we if not the stories we tell ourselves? Well, if you’re gonna talk about “true” then you’d better be prepared to talk about “the truth.” The latest neuroscience (yes, marketers need to study this) confirms that there is not one absolute truth to which everyone agrees, but instead there are things we see and believe to be true on an individual level. Also, our eyes tend to “project” as much as they “see,” which is why two people can see the same movie and come up with different reviews (refer to the gospel of RottenTomatoes.com to see this in action for yourself.) Knowing this simple truth about truth makes your job as a marketer MUCH easier. Buy MU Online Legend Power Leveling If you’re trying to convince mothers of teenagers to get them into music lessons and you know some of the mothers in your target audience had some negative experiences with music in their own lives, your messaging can (and should) be different to those people and thus have a better shot at working. If you create messages to these mothers through your own eyes or some surface level messaging, you have a very good chance at missing them because it’s clear you don’t have the same issues they do. And it’s beyond simple empathy here — I’m talking about studying what you know about the target audience, really digging into it and really forming the right message that might have a chance at moving them. That, ladies and gentlemen is actual marketing — Moving people to action with the right messages, right product, right price, right timing and getting that behavior we’re seeking. When you’re doing marketing for-real and not just sending stuff out and hoping for the best, you realize why great marketing is so critical to any organization’s success. With that, here are a few tips to help you get better at these marketing mind games.
- Put down your prism and try to see YOUR world through theirs
- Attract those you can attract, and it won’t be everybody. You cannot please everyone.
- Always work to build trust and strengthen relationships — weigh EVERY business decision this way.
- Mental movement is still success even if behavior doesn’t immediately follow. Marketing is about movement — sometimes it’s gradual
- Understand that we only know a fraction about how our brains really work and give yourself permission to keep learning and growing in your knowledge of this topic.
Marketing to the mind is a terrible thing to waste. Don’t punt and just talk about yourself (hint — they don’t care) or something that’s safe and cozy for you. You Are In Bags Backpack Cases Take a risk and really learn about your customers, then craft better messaging that will help them get connected with whatever product, service or idea you’re promoting. There are millions of marketing messages launched every single day.
Did you ever get the feeling you were being played by someone?
Wait, don’t answer yet. Allow me to explain. According to recent polls, more than 80 percent of Americans get their news primarily from social media sites these days.The stories still come from our news media (mostly) but it’s really that almost pathological need to attract Likes and clicks that is fundamentally changing the journalistic landscape.
A long time ago, I was a journalism major at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism, regarded as one of the best J-schools on Earth (and with one of the most up and down college football teams you’re ever gonna see), In these hallowed halls, I was taught how to report news clearly, accurately and WITHOUT showing bias. In fact, I remember my News 105 professor circling my news stories in red ink with the big word “BIAS” and telling me to rewrite and stop showing my cards. In those days, a journalist was supposed to report the facts, the truth and let the reader decide the outcome.
But that’s not the case anymore. Journalistic bias is evident everywhere from each journalist’s Twitter feed full of snarky comments, weird likes and snappy retorts to their actual stories and coverage where they seem to no longer trust the people with the heavy lifting of decision making and want to handle THAT part for all of us.
As much as we all long for the good old days of truth, justice and the American way (not the airline), actually, there were always two schools of thought journalism even WAY back to the 1920’s where you first start to see the profession solidified. (yes, it goes back much further but really became a business around the early 20th century)
Walter Lippman — To Lippmann, the journalist fulfilled the role of mediator, or translator, between the general public and policy-making elites. Lippmann reasoned that the public could not assess modern society’s growingly complex flurry of facts; therefore, it needed an intermediary to filter its news. (Show no bias and do not lead people)
John Dewey — Dewey believed not only that the public was capable of understanding the issues created or responded to by the elite, but also that it was in the public forum that decisions should be made after discussion and debate. When issues were thoroughly vetted, then the best ideas would bubble to the surface. Dewey believed journalists should do more than simply pass on information. He believed they should weigh the consequences of the policies being enacted. (It’s ok to show bias and lead people)
But I think it would surprise both Lippman and Dewey to see news that appears to be actually designed to anger and upset people. I did a bit of my own research over a 30-day-period and noticed that:
Fox News pushes out stories about the “GOP,” “race,” “religion (attacks of Christianity), liberty/freedom,” and anything involving “traditional values”, etc.
CNN pushes stories about “threats against the U.S.” “climate change” “social issues — drugs, bullying,” “stories about tyranny” “science scare stories”, etc.
There were patterns that could I see in the feed. Now, here’s where the plot thickens. I did all of this with my OWN social media feed and of course, everyone’s is a bit different, so I checked using a few other feeds (not mine) and found something very interesting — the stories were NOT the same. That’s when I got it. You see, when we click on a story to read more or comment, etc, it’s logged in a file about us that Facebook keeps and uses in a very complex algorithm designed to provide us with the content we want. So when we angrily click on any story that outrages us about say, “NFL players not standing for the National Anthem,” the system thinks we want MORE of that and serves up more, which only makes us .
We ARE being played…and the villain behind it…is us! (it’s always the quiet ones).
BTW — the villain is ALSO Russia who is really enjoying playing with our heads with a very focused and expensive ad and sponsored post campaign that Congress is sorting out right now.
As a pro communicator, here’s my advice to all of us — stop reacting. We have a choice of how to respond to any stimulus and among those choices is to do nothing, to not get angry, to not feel threatened and really just to move on to the next thing. THAT will change the feed and your world. Remember, you are creating your own little world in social media almost like a huge mirror.
And keep in mind the beast you’re feeding may not be the one you wish to face.
A somewhat euphemistic way of describing an individual who has no filter has always been “Oh…she’s very…direct.” And of course we mean something else when that is said. But I will submit to you that as we sit here in 2017, communications is evolving and a more direct communications approach is going to be the winner.
We’ve lived through “the spin years” where corporate communications just couldn’t be any more clever with the ways they said things. Making every first letter match up and finding three words of about the same length that start with the same letter — Whoohooo I can play around with the alphabet. Look at me! I am SOOOO clever! So much, in fact, that wikipedia has an entry for Marketing Speak and it says:
“Marketing speak is a related label for wording styles used to promote a product or service to a wide audience by seeking to create the impression that the vendors of the service possess a high level of sophistication, skill, and technical knowledge. Such language is often used in marketing press releases, advertising copy, and prepared statements read by executives and politicians”
LOL. There’s our legacy folks, right there. A bunch of BS language shoved into everything and used to promote and create the impression that the vendors know what they are talking about. I seriously hope it’s not too late to become a pro bass player. At least people respect that. …Drummers, not so much 🙂
WHY do marketers (and the people who employ them/us) think this is ok? I can think of a few reasons including:
- Lack of good teaching re: principles and practices of MODERN (not 10-15 years ago, but right now) marketing.
- Growing up in the corp world doing it and don’t see any reason to change because the emperor is wearing some FINE clothes!
- Audiences don’t push back loudly enough. For example, when Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL, speaks anywhere, he is greeted by a hail of boos because NFL fans do not trust him and pretty much see through his many “prepared statements” through the years.
- Communicators don’t feel they have permission to speak any differently.
Now that last one is big. So right here, right now, I’d like to go ahead and give each of you permission to create direct and non-marketing-speak communications for your companies. Don’t make your stuff just sound good with the right “marketing sounding” flow, make it actually communicate something and connect with people and be about the things they need, not what you need to sell this month. That is the real job we’re supposed to be doing.
And I just hope that years from now, the wikipedia entry for Marketing Speak will say — Note: this practice was abandoned in the first part of the 21st century when marketers FINALLY woke up. Let’s do better out there!
The purpose of communications is to convey meaning from one life form to another.Need to warn another caveperson that a big honkin’ Velociraptor is coming up FAST and ready to chow down? That’s a great time for extremely DIRECT communication like “DUDE…RUN!!!” The first communicators really got it done.
But somewhere in the mystical magical world of getting more “evolved” and “older” we just start spouting out stuff that we COMPLETELY understand, but the audience has no idea what we’re saying. Tech companies are REALLY guilty of this and it comes from just knowing your stuff SO well that you assume EVERYONE knows it too. Well, remember what Samuel L. Jackson said about making an assumption? (You’re making an ass out of “u” and “mption.”)
And I’ve found that professional communicators can be the worst communicators of all when it comes to this. Oh, we find super smart and clever ways to make all the words start with the same letter, rhyme and just SOUND really good but often, an audience says to themselves — Uh…what? Chomp. Too late, kid.
What’s missing is that little thing I like to call audience empathy. It’s actually just putting YOURSELF in THEIR place and now reading it and saying “I wonder if they’re gonna get it?” If the purpose of communication is to convey meaning between life forms then taking a second to determine whether they are going to make sense of it seems logical to me.
And YET…how many things do you see and read daily and they just become NOISE because there is ZERO meaning?
We’re all communicators and need to make our point. Make sure that your personal and corporate communications do not sound like someone in the marketing department created them. Be clear, not clever. Be factual, not fluffy and above all be ABOUT THEM, not about YOU. I see it every day and I just know we can do better if we think about it and just try.
And what THAT means is — think before you send it and make sure the MEANING is there first and foremost. You understand, right?