Appealing to Our Minds
Remember that commercial you saw watching March Madness last night? Yeah, me neither. As a matter of fact, I don’t even remember what I had for dinner a few nights ago.
They say by the time we reach the age of sixty-six, most of us will have seen approximately two million television commercials. That is the equivalent of watching eight hours of advertisements seven days a week for six years straight!
Today, if I ask most people what company sponsored their favorite TV shows, the normal response will reveal a blank look on their face. They just can’t remember and they really don’t care. I’ve read that goldfish have a working memory of approximately seven seconds
– so every seven seconds, they start their lives all over again. This reminds me of the way I feel when I watch TV commercials. I guess it’s probably why I don’t watch much TV or I record my program in order to mute the interruptions for when I’m ready to watch.
A few things regarding this jump out at me right away. The first and most obvious is today’s fast-moving, ever-changing, always on assault for our attention. The barrage comes from everywhere, the Internet, 24/7 cable news, pop-ups, banner ads, iPhones, iPads, Sirius radio, email, instant messaging, text messaging, games, Netflix, Google search, books, magazines, headphones, and more, all vying for our increasingly finite and worn out attention spans. As a result, the filtering system in our brains has grown thick and self protective. The result is that we’re less and less able to recall what we just heard, or for that matter what we saw on TV last night.
Another factor behind our amnesia is the pervasive lack of originality on the part of story tellers (advertisers). Their reasoning is really simple, “It has always worked in the past.”
Reaching Our Hearts
While most marketing and advertising focuses on getting the attention of our thoughts, or minds, there are a few, the ones that get it, the visionaries, the linchpins, the folks working the room, the artists, the story tellers — that focus on the heart, and the affections.
Their goal is to tell a memorable story.
They focus on creating art.
They think about the show.
They understand the free prize inside.
They deliver what the audience wants.
What do customers want?
Joseph Pine II said, “Customers don’t want choice; they just want exactly what they want.” Each customer is unique and we are all in the business of orchestrating experiences to gain trust and attention. As experience stagers, we must change or add elements to our story that keeps it new, exciting, and worth paying money to experience all over again.
We must move from how we did and even what they want to what they remember.
Below is an example of a compelling story presented via video that came out this weekend that already has had over 6 million views. Check it out and see how this appeals to both the heart and the head and makes you remember. I can assure you once you see this story by Gia and Tom Fletcher, you will also want to see this story that has over 13 million views.
I also like what a business like Zillow did here that again appeals to both heart and head.
Now what creative story is behind your service or product?
Following are some thoughts to consider:
- Create massive amounts of customer surprise. Customer surprise is the difference between what the customer gets to perceive minus (-) what the customer expects to get.
- Each customer is unique, which requires you choose the right approach. There are many approaches to consider such as content marketing, outbound marketing, and inbound marketing. For example, to avoid annoying customers by asking the same standard questions every time they check into a Ritz-Carlton hotel (i.e. King size or two doubles? Smoking or non-smoking?), the hotel established a less intrusive means of learning about individual needs. The company stores standard information in a CRM system and uses it to form a learning relationship with individual guests, thus eliminating unnecessary service intrusions and tailoring messages that help their guests.
- Brands that engage us emotionally will win every single time. Emotions are the way our brains encode or think of value, and a brand that engages us emotionally will win every single time. Think Apple, Harley-Davidson, Tom Fletcher.
- Emotions have an enormous impact on every day decisions we make. According to George Loewenstein, a behavioral economist from Carnegie Mellon University, “Most of the brain is dominated by automatic processes, rather than deliberate thinking. A lot of what happens in the brain is emotional, not cognitive.”
- When a person buys a service, they purchase a set of intangible activities carried out on their behalf. But when a person buys an experience, they pay to spend time enjoying a series of memorable events that a company stages — just like a theatrical play or movie — to engage them in a personal way.
- Services are no longer enough. Experiences are the foundation for future growth in your business. This requires a fresh approach to scripting, planning, and staging a compelling experience.
- If the experiences in your business were a theatrical show, would people want to pay admission to see it?
- If it wasn’t a mystery, it would be easy. If it were easy, it wouldn’t be worth much.
Resources and References
Martin Lindstrom, buy-ology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy – Doubleday, 2008
B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore, The Experience Economy – Harvard Business School Press, 1999
Seth Godin, Linchpin: Are you Indispensable? – The Penguin Group, 2010
Nick Morgan, Working the Room – Harvard Business School Press, 2003
YouTube, Zillow: Long Distance, http://youtu.be/o3bZz_JHyyA
YouTube, From Bump to Buzz, http://youtu.be/yJ7-v7xVm3I