That age old battle - the ego vs the heart - is more relevant now than ever to us marketeers and anyone directly involved in business development. It dictates how you speak to the people you need to be speaking to; how you capture their attention and it applies to every communication you put out there – online, direct mail, posters, brochures, social media.
The thing is though, with everyone communicating to everyone else - shouting, pitching and bargaining for a share of the market - it can be hard, defeating and infuriating for those of us running ethical business operations to compete with ‘get rich quick’ and ‘lose 7kg in 7 days’.
If you thought I was about to start sharing insight on the importance of speaking to emotion – to the heart – think again. The reason the ‘get rich quick’s and ‘lose weight fasts’s of the world are so successful is because they speak to the ego of a profiled target market.
We all work hard. We all have limited time. We want to look great and we live in a society where front pagers only owe their success to having thrown up anything they’ve ever swallowed. Of course we want to lose 7kg in 7 days – where do we sign up!?
Speaking to the ego is a sure-fire way to stimulate your audience. It will spark things that haven’t been sparked before – from inspiration to excitement to passion. Ultimately, written the right way, you will get them hot hot hot.
Speaking to the ego is a crafty sport though and truth and transparency are advisable if morality is of any consequence to you and your business.
Controlling an ego is almost as achievable as fitting your entire workflow into 8 hours. Unless we’re talking to the Buddhists, Sufis and various other sects of the world committed to spiritual development and giving up their egos - we won’t get far.
We need to soothe the ego then talk to the heart. If you’re running an ethical business in an ethical way and don’t plan on taking peoples’ money for a product that doesn’t meet its guarantees and could possibly lead to premature hair loss because no real testing has been committed to, this approach works to promote longevity of business through respectable practice.
Soothing that ego can be achieved through empathy, identity and hope.
Empathy. How many times have you shared how f*cking p!ssed off you are with a co-worker you have to see and work with every single day? You don’t want your counterpart to tell you they understand and relate “because of that time they were bothered when a person walking down the street bumped into them”. Er… Irrelative. I said f*cking p!ssed off, not bothered and I’m talking about someone I have to deal with every day, not someone I’ll never see again.
Don’t be afraid to talk candidly to your target audience with sentiments relevant to their profile.
Identity. Convince your target audience that you know them well enough to tell them what’s best for them. Do you hold the same values as them? Can you prove your knowledge and success in areas important to them? Creating that identity as a trustworthy source will certainly convert to a productive outcome.
Hope. On a basic level, we all need hope to function. We start a business hoping it will succeed if we rollout planning as per research and strategy. Your target audience hopes you can get them where they need to be – whether it’s healthy, whether it’s improved, whether it’s retired at 35 – the ego wants to know it can get there. If that business longevity is of importance – it’s imperative to remember - only results are testament to your commitment.
So having addressed empathy, identity and hope, hit it home and speak to that heart.
Speaking to the ego can be difficult. How cheesy is too cheesy? To what degree do I need to compromise my own self-respect to formulate a catchy jingle? Answer is – you don’t. Use empathy, identity and hope to your advantage – make your target audience hot while giving them the respect they deserve.
Then watch the bank balance. (HIGH FIVE, ego!)
- Sofia Margelis
That age old battle - theego vs the heart - is more relevant now than ever to us marketeers and anyone directly involved in business development. It dictates how you speak to the people you need to be speaking to; how you capture their attention and it applies to every communication you put out there – online, direct mail, posters, brochures, social media.
Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.
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