Monday, July 07, 2008

Marketing To Someone About Someone Else

People respond to marketing in a positive way when you tell a story that matches with their personal beliefs/thoughts/feelings and their own story. This is one of the cornerstones of many if not all of Seth Godin's books.

One thing that plays into this is not just telling a story about your customer (potential customer) it also can be very effective to bring other people into the story. Godin's post about all customers being smarter than average and The Onion's painfully truthful satirical article about 98% of US commuters favor public transportation for others shows that most people believe the rules shouldn't or don't apply to them, just everyone else.

This philosophy can be utilized effectively in marketing. One example is "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" and its popularity. Most people love watching others look like fools all the while they sit on their comfortable couch thinking that they in fact are smarter than a 5th grader, all the while the show really has nothing to do with intelligence, but rather just the recollection of obscure facts that these kids have just recently learned.

What would be an ineffective strategy here is to use the negative, so always focus on the positive. "Other people are dumb" is not nearly as effective as "you are smarter than him/her/that".

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