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.)
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:
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?
- “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.
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.
- 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.