26 Oct

Marketing Manfesto – #2: There are only two emotions in marketing…

I can’t resist looking for truth. Call it the Bottom Level, the Foundation, or the Root of Things. Whatever you like.

Getting to truth is not an act of mind, but one of feeling.  It is intuition, and it feels so very real. You know when you are in truth. You are not sure of it in your mind perhaps, you can’t prove it with a calculator, nor can you get anyone else to experience it exactly as you do.

But you know it.

In marketing, there can be many levels of truth and many versions of truth.

When considering emotions in marketing (Principle #1), however, I believe the truth is pretty clear – there are only two emotions.

Which leads to my Marketing Manifesto Principle #2:

A Marketing Manifesto

10 principles and practices of great marketing:

#2: There are only two emotions to work with in marketing:
Fear and Love.

People buy things because they want to feel safe from Fear and connected to Love.

People switch back and forth between these two states of emotion continually throughout their day and, when making purchasing decisions, are really reacting from fear or love.

Give me an example…

This is a great principle because it can help you dig down to a person’s core beliefs and philosophies of life that impact on purchasing behavior. The hard part with this principle is that a purchase can be rooted in fear or love, or a combination of both.

I loved getting stickers all over my care packages.

I loved getting stickers all over my care packages.

Example:  A mother sends her son, who is studying in college, a “care” package. This care package contains some new t-shirts, a book of funny comics, some of her son’s favorite chocolates, and a box of condoms.

Was this an act of fear or an act of love? Or both?

From a marketing perspective, when the mother purchased the different items for the care package, she could have different reasons for doing so – rooted in either fear or love:

  • T-shirts:  “I feel ashamed when my son wears old t-shirts. He says they are comfortable, but I think they show that I am a bad mother, not caring for my son. I am buying these new ones so that I won’t be afraid of what other people think of my son and of my parenting of him.”Or:  “I know that my son doesn’t have a lot of money right now as he is studying in college. I thought he might enjoy some new t-shirts, ones with some funny sayings on them, to brighten his day.”
  • Book of comics:  “The messages in this comic book are ones I don’t want my son to forget. I think sometimes he is lazy and I fear that he won’t take care of his obligations. This comic book is all about the funny things that happen to people when they are lazy. Maybe he will get the message.”Or:  “This is an absolutely hilarious book of comics. I think my son will get a laugh out of it too – I hope he enjoys it as a break from all his hard work in studying.”
  • Who wouldn't want to get chocolates in a care package?

    Who wouldn't want to get chocolates in a care package?

    Chocolates: “I want my son to remember to call me. Chocolates will show I love him and he will remember to call me because I am afraid my son will forget me and I will be alone for the rest of my life.”

    Or: “I saw the box of chocolates in the store and a deep sense of love came over me as I remembered that they are his favorite kind. I bought them knowing he would enjoy them.”

  • Box of condoms:  “I know that in college students experiment with all kinds of things, including sex. I am afraid he will get someone pregnant and then will have to quit college to make money. Or he will catch a disease. I am buying this box to protect him from what I am afraid will happen to him.”Or:  “I loved the freedom I gained in college. I bought these condoms as a small message to him to not always study, but to expand his learning to include all the loving, joyful experiences he can have in these great years of his life.Or:  Both reasons could be true…

…which is where it gets tricky. Often there are more than one reason for purchasing decisions.  Some based in fear, some in love.

So what?

Understanding the one or more emotionally rooted reason for purchasing decisions can be the foundation for all marketing activities for a product or brand.

Toyota, for example, is known in North America as the “safest” vehicle from a “not breaking down” quality perspective. Understanding that they are dealing with the emotion of “fear of breaking down at night on a winter highway 100km from the nearest civilization”, particularly to older purchasers, is key to understanding that they must deliver this sense of “safety from fear” to this group. The Toyota Corolla, for example, is marketed perfectly in this way, through advertising and the product design itself, being one of the most boring vehicles ever produced, and one of the most reliable:

“I don’t want a flashy vehicle. I just want to be sure it gets me where I am going. I no long care about fancy stuff. I just don’t want to break down.”

Toyota is not only dealing with the “fear of breaking down” emotion. There are dozens of important fears and loves they are dealing with in different target markets and intermingled as well.  The Toyota Prius, for example, could be purchased for a fear reason – “I bought a Prius so people won’t think badly of me for driving instead of taking public transit”, or a love reason – “I love going on long driving trips that take me to places in America I can never see without a vehicle.  The Prius allows me to do so in a way that I can afford, because it has such great fuel economy.”

Why only Fear and Love in marketing to emotions?

1. Because all other emotions are really rooted in one of these two.

2. Because by staying focused on the root of things – the truth of the emotions you are working with – you won’t get lost in your marketing:  You will make and market goods and services that consistently deliver the emotions of Fear or Love.

Oops. I think I should have said “safety from Fear” and Love.

Hmmm….maybe not.

The Power of Marketing:

Careful here: You have a lot of power in marketing. How do you want to use it? For Fear or Love? What is your truth?

19 Oct

“What have I learned from all this?” – Marketing Manfesto – #1

 

A Marketing Manifesto

I believe marketing is a “method” that combines both art and science. It is a game of continually seeking truth that you have to be determined to win.  You must use both your left and right brain hemispheres to really gain truth. To be a great marketer, you have to be brave, take chances, make mistakes, live with those mistakes, and stay in the game despite any discomfort you experience on the way. You have to push your mind outside of your “box” every single day.

You have to do yoga and climb mountains.

You have to be passionate and be calculating.

You have to believe everything and believe nothing.

And most of all, you have to learn about yourself. For in turning inwards you free yourself to understanding truths about the world.

And that can make you great at marketing (…and just about anything else in life, too.)

Paul Kurucz

A Marketing Manifesto

10 principles and practices of great marketing:

#1:  People buy emotions, not products.

 

People want to feel things from their products and services. They don’t buy things for the function delivered, but rather for how their purchases will make them feel.

Give me an example…

No, this not some purchases or many purchases, but all purchases.  Hard to believe?  Check out this example of what most people would consider a boring, functional product:

(How can he hold a lit bulb?)

(How can he hold a lit bulb?)

A person buys a light bulb. A functional purchase, right?  No emotions involved?

Not really:  When a light bulb burns out and a person replaces it, how do they feel?

Some possibilities:

  • “When see a light bulb dark and burnt out, I feel that my home is neglected and I feel bad about that.”
  • “I feel depressed when it is dim and dark in my home.”
  • “When I get a new light bulb, I feel happy that my home is bright again.”
  • “I enjoy reading. When I change the light bulb, I can read more easily again.”
  • “I feel great buying low energy consuming light bulbs because I feel good contributing to conservation. When light bulb burns out it gives me an opportunity to replace it with a better one.”

See the point? Every one of those reasons has a foundation in feelings – one or more emotion.

So what?

When you consider that every single product or service is really a delivery vehicle for emotions, you can  focus on helping people feel the emotions they want to feel through your product or service!

Continuing our example of the light bulb, if you keep the emotion(s) in mind that buyers of light bulbs want to feel, there are some really simple things you can do in marketing to help them feel the emotion(s):

    • Have your light bulbs available wherever people feel they are buying things to help them feel they are caring for their home.
    • Illustrate and describe on the light bulb package how your light bulbs will help a purchaser feel.
What is nicer than a great book...under a warm light bulb?

What's nicer than a great book...under a warm light bulb?

  • Dark packaging? Ummm…no. How about bright, colorful, cheerful packaging?  After all people aren’t buying darkness – they are buying light!  Illustrate this in packaging!
  • Packaging and advertising can show scenarios where people feel emotions. How about a picture of a person sitting under a warm light reading a book with a smile of contentment on their face?
  • Association is a powerful marketing tool. Put the color green, with a picture of green trees and the word “green” on your light bulb packaging and “VOILA!”:  People get the happy feeling of being associated with the energy conscious generation and doing the “right” thing, a very satisfying feeling for many.

Two challenges with the “emotional delivery” approach to marketing:

1.  You have to figure out what emotions people want to feel. This is no easy task: First, you have to get your own emotional beliefs out the way about the product/service – your own biases. Then you have to dig deep to really understand the emotional underpinnings. Most people don’t want to talk about their buying behavior this way: It leads to uncomfortable feelings that include “why am I buying this anyway? Am I that simple?”  So you have to be an emotional detective to really get to truth. A really good one.

2.  Most business people, including many marketers, don’t understand the emotional core of marketing. Somewhere along the line business became about the scientific method, financial accounting, and statistical process control. All good things, but not great to use as primary tools in the messy world of “emotions”.

So, once you get some great insights into the emotional products that people want, you have to then spend the next 6 months explaining, convincing, re-explaining, and explaining again what you are talking about to those who think that marketing the product/service is mechanical.   “Arggghhh….!!!”

Welcome to Marketing:

50% hard work figuring out what emotions people want to feel and how your product/service can help them get those feelings.

And 50% hard work getting your graphic designer, engineer, boss, accountant, banker, and mother to understand what you are talking about.