Marketing Mind Games

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. 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. 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.

  1. Put down your prism and try to see YOUR world through theirs
  2. Attract those you can attract, and it won’t be everybody. You cannot please everyone.
  3. Always work to build trust and strengthen relationships — weigh EVERY business decision this way.
  4. Mental movement is still success even if behavior doesn’t immediately follow. Marketing is about movement — sometimes it’s gradual
  5. 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. 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. Why will YOURS matter?