It’s impossible to transmit every single fact, instantly, to every person you want to reach. So marketers tell stories. Sometimes we tell stories with packaging or with advertising or with words. Sometimes we tell a story with a smile, or with a sign in front of building.
Often those stories are well intentioned and even an attempt at communicating all the facts.
But when a human being eventually confronts the idea, he will interpret it in his own way- he will lie to himself, creating a judgement without access to all the facts.
The best marketing techniques, then, are the simple stories that are the most likely to break through, the most likely to be understood and the most likely to spread. And because the rules keep changing, the tactics must change as well.
Stop trying to find the formula that will instantly make your idea into winner. Instead of being scientist, the marketers are artists. They realize that whatever is being sold is being purchased because it creates an emotional want, not because it fills a simple need.
Marketers win when they understand the common threads that all successful stories share.
If you want to tell a great story, you need to know about the brain that’s going to hear that story.
When you create a product, market a service or run a business, you win when you spread your ideas. If your idea spreads from person to person, you’ll grow in influence and everything will get easier. If everyone who matters knows your idea, you win.
Ideas are worthless without a place to live. An idea in a book or on a whiteboard has no impact. Just like a virus, an idea needs a host, a brain, to live in.
We need to understand how our brain responds to the ideas and inputs we encounter. Usually when we came across something for the first time, we compare in to the status quo. If it’s not new, we ignore it.
Once we decide to pay attention to something, our brain sets to work to figure out how it happened. Then we make a prediction, we predict what will happen next in our world, if our prediction is right, then the external surprises will cease and our brain can settle back in and start ignoring things again.
Once we’ve made up our mind, once we’ve got some assumptions about causation and we’ve made some predictions, then we stick with them. We ignore contrary data for as long as we can get away with it and focus on the events we agree with.
We’re constantly scanning the world around us for changes. Walk into your house and within a heartbeat you know if something has changed. You glance at your watch a dozen times in a row without consciously knowing what time it is, until you discover that you’re late for something, and then the data jumps to the forefront of your awareness.
Yes, we notice changes most of all, but we can tell at a glance if there’s a new brand of mobile in the market or if the courier guy got a new hairstyle.