Use The (Weak) Force!

“I just saw what we spent on marketing in the last quarter, show me some results now!”

You want to see results and understandably so. You just spent a significant portion of your budget on marketing, money that could’ve been spent on upgrading your I.T. or replacing those uncomfortable chairs in the office.

Well, it’s unlikely you’re going to see those results.

It may seem like I should start writing my own resignation letter… or that my superiors are getting ready to inform me of ‘structural changes within the company’ – but follow this train of thought for a second.

People, however, are not machines predictably responding to your ‘inputs’ – your increase in marketing spend may not have a proportional and quantifiable result.  But that doesn’t mean wasted marketing dollars.  Your marketing efforts may have achieved underlying psychological results that will be extremely important at purchase time… whenever that may be.

Some like to believe that marketing is a strong force – ‘You will hear my message, be convinced and purchase my widget!’ This is not the case. If it were, we’d all be voting for the political party that figured it out. We had a hung parliament last election, so I could probably say something about our current Prime Minister and there’d be a 50% chance you’d disagree.the-force-is-strong

Instead, marketing is a weak force. Why on earth did you spend all that money on a weak force? Because marketing works as a weak force. Consumers enter an information-laden lifeworld, filled with their own complex personalities and perspectives. It is marketing’s job to gently niggle in a message about your business into that lifeworld. Then, when the stars almost align, if the consumer knows what your company does, knows that you’ll do it reliably and, hey, thinks your company is ‘a good bloke’… you’ll get a purchase.

Skimp on marketing at your own peril. You have competitors engaging in this exact same process. Instead, make marketing work as a weak force:

● engage then sell

● aim for long-term market goals instead of sales spikes

● and communicate one thing at one time.

That last point is perhaps the most pertinent. As a copywriter for Messages On Hold, I sometimes speak with clients that wish to include a lot of information in a single message. I understand, you want to get your money’s worth, but a complex message that’s hard to remember is worthless compared to a simple message that sticks. If it’s not easy, you’ve lost them.

It may feel like a leap, but spend as much time and money as you can to keep your business in the minds of your target consumers (not on hammering home information), then at purchase time… you might just win out over the competition.

– Jakub

Do You Speak Reptilian?

Fact: you don’t need to be a brain surgeon to manipulate someone’s brain. You just need lizardto know what language speaks to the part of the brain that controls emotion. Once you learn this half the “sales battle” is already won.

The part of the brain in question is called the ‘Reptilian Brain’ and it’s the oldest and most critical part of our grey matter. This section of our brain works quickly and simply. If the decision process making becomes too convoluted the Reptilian Brain takes over.

So how do we get a one way ticket to this part of the brain? With clever copy that directly addresses our target market’s pain points. As a copywriter, I need to distil the message down to its most basic form and then relate that to how it will benefit the caller.

Let’s take the two messages below for example. The first one focuses on the company, the second on the caller.

FV: Thank you for holding. We are open from 7am until 10.30pm every day of the week and stock a huge range of nappies, formulas, baby garments, pacifiers and more. Think of us as your one stop baby shop.

Not that compelling, right? Now let’s try it by speaking directly with the Reptilian Brain.

SFX intro: Crickets chirping. Baby Starts Crying. Crickets stop but baby keeps crying in the background
FV: (Tired) Honey, wake up. We’re out of nappies – could you nip down to the pharmacist? Oh and pick up some formula too.
MV: (Annoyed) What? At this hour?
FV: It’s okay – they’re open until 10.30 at night! (end SFX)
FV2: (Voice Over) Acme Pharmacist – open 7am to 10.30pm for life’s little emergencies.
SFX outro: Baby cooing

Rather than telling the caller about the hours and range, the second message demonstrates it. It focuses on the benefit of being available late at night and provides evidence of their solution to the caller’s problem. Instead of listing items, it creates a scenario that highlights the core concept of baby products available late at night. Most importantly, it recognises that familiar feeling all parents get when a baby won’t go to sleep. Put simply, it tugs on a parent’s emotional strings.

The key point to remember when writing for the Reptilian Brain is to focus on why the subject is important to the listener and how it will benefit them. If you’d like to learn more about appealing to your caller’s “Reptilian Brain”, check out this great article by Action Words on Neuromarketing that offers 6 simple rules for selling.