We live in complex times, we have complex jobs, and our real and quasi-social relationships are as confused and frustrating as ever. So in a world of such complexity how can businesses truly understand what makes people tick? You may ask does it matter? And of course the answer is you bet it does. Without understanding how people make decisions and what motivates those decisions, you will not be able to connect with people, and failure to connect will severely hamper your sales efforts.
Creativity is like the weather; everyone talks about it but no one does anything about it. Boardrooms, seminars, and conferences are full of talk of the need for creative thinking as a way to spark innovation, new product development, and of course sales, but the sad truth is business leaders for the most part are creatively stunted. Creativity is stifled in a climate of restrictive rules, tight budgets, and an obsession with statistical justification.
Have you ever tried to remember something you know you know but you can’t retrieve the information? The harder you try, the harder it is to come-up with the answer, and then, all of a sudden while taking a shower or some other mundane activity, the answer pops into your head. It’s an amazing phenomenon and it happens to everybody. The reaction is generally one of “where the heck did that come from?” It’s insight out of the blue and for most people we take the experience for granted.
There are many things online businesses can learn from the recent American Presidential election and you don’t have to be an American to appreciate their significance. Presidential elections are exercises in marketing big ideas, and big ideas are the key to marketing success. After all is said and done the 2012 US Presidential election boiled down to, is there a place in government for governing? Put that way it really doesn’t seem to make sense, but that was the big idea voters were asked to decide: should government be run by politicians looking out for ‘the people’ or should it be run by business executives looking out for the ‘bottom line?’
Did your grade school teacher ever tell you to “pay attention”, or your mother tell you to “use your brain”? When you think about it, both statements were pretty good advice, and not surprisingly the two are closely related. You see, your brain can really only process information serially, one thing at a time, and the more tasks you ask it to do simultaneously, the less efficient it becomes.
There is an epic battle being fought on the Internet between the mighty forces of the left-brain ‘analytarians’ (those who worship at the feet of the almighty Google analytics) and the upstart underdog right-brain creatives. Lines have been drawn in all out trench warfare leaving the under-manned creatives scrambling for evidence to back their claims of superior marketing influence and impact.
As much as some would have you believe that marketing can be formulized into a predictable certainty, it just isn’t so. The movie and music industries seem to be perpetually striving to boil-down human nature into some kind of algorithmic absolute, but the results have been, and will always be, less than promised. Each copycat iteration of movie or TV vampires and zombies seems to lose the essence of the particular combination of elements that made the original a success.
Communication is a complex subject, and each new form of oral, visual, or digital dialogue has its own set of criteria that make it effective; as well as its own snake pit of hazards that can make it downright dangerous. Let’s put the current Macarena’s of marketing, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, aside for one moment and speak about another hot trend in marketing communication – video.
Website Engagement Techniques: The Caricature Effect
Marketing is all about getting noticed, getting remembered, and motivating people to action. Whether it’s a website, display ad, or video, it must first grab people’s attention, it must stop the viewer from going on to the next website, turning the magazine page, or clicking the stop button. In order to accomplish that increasingly difficult task, you must understand the Caricature Effect.
The Caricature Effect
The Caricature Effect simply stated says that what we notice is variation from the norm. Caricature artists exaggerate reality because that is how we visually distinguish one person from another. Human beings are preprogrammed to look for patterns and variations in those patterns, it’s how we recognize who people are, and it is a basic survival mechanism that helps us recognize danger and distinguish friend from foe.
The companies that make a real impact in the marketplace are not the ones that produce what people think they want, but rather the ones that produce what people will want but don’t know it.