Doing some catching up from the 200 plus emails I recieved wjile I was out for a couple of days...
These are from Seth:
Posted: 04 Oct 2008 09:53 AM CDT
What did people really think about the VP debates? Just moments ago, I listened to Dan Hill, CEO of Sensory Logic, being interviewed on CNN. He described a focus group in Minnesota whose facial responses were analyzed as they watched Palin & Biden on TV.
Why facial responses? According to Hill, author of the newly released Face Time (which focuses on the 2008 campaign), facial muscles are fast reactors because they're directly attached to the skin. Thus they quickly show how people really feel about a situation. The CIA & FBI have used facial coding for years.
Hill uses it as a market research tool to discover people's true reactions to the world's major brands - which he's documented in his excellent book on Emotionomics.
(It's a real interesting read. It gets you thinking about what you aren't seeing that's right in front of your face!)
Now he's moved into the political arena as a frequent commentator on the presidential race for CNN, Fox and MSNBC. Here is Hill's analysis:
- Palin's folksiness: Every time Palin used her "you betcha" & "Joe 6-pack" talk, 1/3 of the focus group reacted positively to it while the rest of the group winced.
- Biden's demeanor: Too senatorial at times which didn't warm people up to him.
- Level of cynicism: 1/3 of viewers were cynical of Biden, while 1/2 were cynical of Palin.
What's Hill's final summation? Despite both candidate's strong performance in the debates, they didn't turn viewers to their side. At the end, based on the viewer's facial reactions, 70% remained neutral.
What does all this have to do with sales? Seems to me we could be more effective if we knew what our prospects/customers really think.
What facial reactions (eyes, mouth, eyebrowns, forehead) have you discovered that indicate reactions such as interest level, agreement/disagreement, belief/disbelief or other emotions?
Some people want to do things because they are interesting.
Some people want to do things because they work.
Some people want to do things because everyone else is doing them.
And some people are satisfied/scared/shy/lazy and don't do anything.
Think about blogging or buying a new pair of shoes or voting for a candidate or picking one career over another. Different people have very different agendas. The key in understanding someone's actions is understanding their agenda.
That salesperson who does everything by the book is not interested in the thrill of discovery. That retired steel worker that is hesitating to vote for your candidate is wondering what everyone else is going to do. And that unpredictable blogger keeps changing the rules because the rules bore him.
The old adage is that for someone with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
It's a warning that people who are only good at one thing often believe that the one thing is the answer to every problem. And it's a good warning.
But what if you've decided that in fact, a hammer is exactly the tool that will solve your problem? My advice: hire a guy who only uses a hammer. Odds are, he's pretty good at it.
If you need cognitive behavioral therapy (the technique proven most effective for many conditions), don't go to a therapist who does six different kinds of therapy, as needed. Go to someone who has only one tool, but uses it beautifully.
Don't go to this person for advice about what sort of therapy you need. You need a generalist for that. Go to this person for her hammer.
If you want a piece of handmade furniture made with hand tools and hand finishes, get it from a craftsman who owns no power tools. And think twice before buying SEO services from a general purpose ad agency.
It sounds like I'm endorsing specialists, but that's not really what I'm doing. What I'm proposing is that when you're forced to choose (as opposed to mix or compromise) your tactics, it pressures you to make better stuff and to make better choices.
This is why the Journal's report that Google is flirting seriously with a big advertising buy is so troublesome. Once you start buying TV time, you just added another tool to your marketing belt. Now, plenty of your development and marketing team will say, "Oh, we'll just buy ads. People will use it!" Suddenly, you don't focus so much on building word of mouth and remarkability into your products, because now you can easily use TV to spackle over less remarkable products.
Bad news for an organization that's so good at one thing (building remarkable products that spread virally) to start pivoting into an area where they're likely to be not-so-good. This will lead to TV-friendly products that aren't viral, along with ads that aren't quite good enough to make them pop. By diversifying their toolset, they'll get less good at their core skill.
Choosing your marketing tactics drives the products you design just as much as the products you design choose your tactics. By having the discipline to run no TV ads, Google forces the organization to use the hammer they're really good at. More tools isn't always better.
People and brands and organizations that stand for something benefit as a result. Standing for something helps you build trust, makes it easier to manage expectations and aids in daily decision making. Standing for something also makes it more fun to do your gig, because you're on a mission, doing something that matters. Of course, there's a cost. You can't get something for nothing.
It's frustrating to watch marketers, politicians and individuals fall into the obvious trap of trying to stand for something at the same time they try to please everyone or do everything.
You can't be the low-price, high-value, wide-selection, convenient, green, all-in-one corner market. Sorry.
You also can't be the high-ethics CEO who just this one time lets an accounting fraud slide. "Because it's urgent."
You can't be the big-government-fighting, low-taxes-for-everyone, high-services-for-everyone, safety-net, pro-science, faith-based, anti-deficit candidate either.
You can't be the work-smart, life-in-balance, available-at-all-hours, high-output, do-what-you're-told employee.
To really stand for something, you must make difficult decisions, mostly about what you don't do. We don't ship products like that, we don't stand for employees like that ("you're fired"), we don't fix problems like that.
It's so hard to stand up, to not compromise, to give up an account or lose a vote or not tell a journalist what they want to hear.
But those are the only moments where standing for something actually counts, the only times that people will actually come to believe that you in fact actually stand for something.
If you have to change your story because your audience is different (oh, I'm on national TV today!) (oh, this big customer wants me to cut some key corners) you're going to get caught. That's because the audience is now unknown to you, everything is public sooner or later, and if you want to build a brand for the ages, you need to stand for something today and tomorrow and every day.Sphere: Related Content