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A Monday Morning Massive Attack of Marketing Lessons

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I think it’s safe to say that at this point, my brain works much differently than most people’s.

While most people’s “Lizard Brain” sends them subconscious signals for primal needs. Like…

“I’m hungry”
“I’m scared”
“That’s my towel…don’t touch it” (what?)

Mine just usually sends me one signal: “There’s a marketing lesson in that…”

Sick…I know.

Last night the girlfriend and I went to see a performance by Massive Attack. A lot of people have probably heard their music simply because one of their songs was used as the theme song for “House.”

massive attack v adam curtis

Their music wasn’t even the focal point of the night, however. We stood in the middle of a room, surrounded by screens showing a film. And Massive Attack’s performance set the soundtrack.

Really, it was one of those “artsy fartsy” things you could only find in a city like NYC.

But it was intense!

It told the story of how countries like the U.S., Russia and Afghanistan got where they are today due to the desires of those in charge to “manage society” and “avoid risk.”

Basically, I took it as an anti-propaganda propaganda movie.

There were certainly some pitfalls in the arguments the film made. And I don’t really agree with all of their political stances (to put it lightly). I just like their music.

Plus, if I boycotted all the musicians who I didn’t agree with politically I’d have nothing left to listen to :) . That’s not the point of this post though…

This time, I agreed with the overall message. And that brings us to the first marketing lesson…

Lesson 1: Give people what they want by entering the conversation in their head.

There are two ways to get people to take a desired action (in business that action is to buy from you).

The first is to tell them what they already want to hear, and what they already agree with. That’s why news networks are so damn profitable. None of them give real news, they just give opinions their target audience want to hear (because they already believe them).

The other way is to convince those that disagree with your view point that yours is the right one. While doing this will likely create much more loyal followers, it takes a lot of effort to create a paradigm shift in someone’s head.

Targeting the former is certainly more realistic.

Moving on…

Lesson 2: Tell a story…and personify

The film told the story of how we got here. But it didn’t focus on countries. It focused on specific individuals.

For example, it didn’t tell the story of what happened to Russia as a country. But rather followed the story of a punk musician named Yegor Letov.

This is really a classic copywriting technique that worked extremely well in this case (as it usually does).

It’s easier to relate to a specific individuals, than the history of an entire country. It humanizes things. Makes you feel more connected.

That’s why case studies work so well.

Speaking of humanizing…

Lesson 3: That data point is human

A story of how we got here isn’t complete without the financial collapse half a decade ago.

The film recounted how bad loans were made to people who couldn’t afford them. They were then packaged with other investment to “dilute” the effect of the bad loans.

Probably seemed like a really good idea at the time.

But as the movie claims…and this makes a lot of sense…we are a society obsessed with data. And that’s what these investment packages were viewed as: data points in cyber space.

Everyone neglected the fact that there were real people at the end of those data points that couldn’t afford to pay their loans back.

Data is, of course, extremely important in business and marketing.

We are always trying to increase opt-in rates. We are always trying to test to see which button color is going to increase that conversion rate.

But at the end of the day, it’s important to remember that the “conversion” is a person with goals and desires.

And that brings us back to Lesson 1 :) .

Over to you

With that in mind, I want to get to know you better. Shoot me an email and tell me something about yourself or about your business.

What are your goals? What are your fears? What’s your favorite cheese?

Anything you want to share is fine.

Looking forward to your response,

P.S. Although this film made data seem like an evil being controlling our lives, it’s really just a tool. And like all tools, it depends on how you use it.

It can be used the “Wall Street” way of forgetting there are people on the other end. Or, you can remember that each new “subscriber” is a potential new client or customer whose life you can change for the better with your product or service.

And that’s what I am trying to do with my [CSH] Premium Newsletter. I know that the people who sign up are business owners who are serious about taking steps to improve their marketing, and thus their businesses. And when they do that, they can help others in turn.

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