Bryan Todd is the co-author of “Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords” and Perry Marshall’s right hand man. (Perry’s humbly noted in the past that Bryan just might know a little more than he does about AdWords)
In this intriguing 23 minute discussion, my wife (Dr. Sharon Livingston), talks with Bryan about the more emotional side of advertising, including techniques for isolating the emotional benefits and “personas” driving click through and sales in an AdWords market.
PS – You might also want to download my previous interview with Bryan, … a summary of the 10 fundamental differences between adwords money makers and those who continually struggle Bryan Todd Previous AdWords Interview
Part of the art of marketing is knowing exactly how hard to push your message, how much to promise, how much to hold back. For example, I just typed in “weight loss” in Google, and here’s the top ad:
Now, on first glance it strikes me as being right on the outter edge of believability.
When I reflect upon it seriously, I doubt it’s actually possible to lose ten pounds a week… EASILY and consistently. (Maybe you could do it the first week… or if you weighed 500 pounds when you started and walked 10 miles a day while only eating dirt and rocks, etc)
I’ll bet you anything these guys are “punching too hard” to build a loyal customer base, though they may be very profitable on the front end transactions.
On the other hand, a little further down the page was this ad:
I know for a fact the Medifast people–and their affiliates–build their profits on a continuity model (I once tracked the weight loss and meal replacement category for about 6 weeks) … look at the level of “just right punch” which is winning the long term customers.
Last, here’s one from page FOUR of the sponsored ads which is clearly not punching hard enough at all, in my humble opinion:
To drive home the point, here’s a VERY emotional, visual demonstration (pretty much everything my wife does is VERY emotional!) of the need to find just the right level of “punch” for your marketing campaigns … it’s only 2 and a half minutes, and I guarantee you’ll never forget it:
First, we’ve compiled an Emotional Marketing Cheat Sheet which I know you’ll find useful. Getting the emotion right is especially important in small advertising space like AdWords and classified ads. This free cheat sheet has a specific example, but more importantly now contains a printable form of the special 37 Emotions Linked to Purchase Behavior. (Keep’m by your side when you write your AdWords ads!)
I’ve also re-posted the old Self Esteem and Purchase Behavior MP3s below, (now edited into one convenient file. And there’s a transcript here
What if you understood something about your market that no one else did. What if you could see the entire STORY your prospect was engaged in … the problem they were solving, what role they wanted you to play, how they wanted you to transform their lives with your copy? This has got to be one of the coolest interviews I ever got out of Sharon … see how you can get your copy to write itself. Enjoy!
Learning direct response marketing with AdWords isn’t unlike learning to play the piano.
(Glenn’s nephew, Benjamin Richman – 6 years old, playing “Ballade”)
You may sense the power of pay per click marketing, … you may have a sense of learning something grand, … you may realize that if you’ll only stick with it and continue practicing there will come a point where profits come more effortlessly, … indeed, where successful marketing copy flies from your fingers like music flows from Tchaikovsky, Miles Davis, or Geddy Lee.
Why is it we don’t give ourselves the lattitude and respect these greats gave themselves in years of practice to perfect their crafts?
Why is it we don’t forgive ourselves our early mistakes, and expect it will take the same level of dedication which we’ve seen time and again are required across every other arena of life to achieve something truly excellent?
Could it be because it’s so profitable for marketing educators to tell us how easy it is? To perpetuate the illusion you can extract value without giving value, that one can casually dip into the internet marketing pool and pull out an electronic fortune without ever talking to a customer?
Everything worthwhile takes practice.
Every journey worth taking has obstacles.
Every person worth knowing has struggled.
Every mountain worth climbing is an adventure frought with BOTH pain and excitement, sorrow and joy.
And every “next level” you strive for in your ppc marketing / internet marketing career … whether it’s your first dollar, your first million, or your first $10M will present the same.
Most of you know what I’ve been through to get where I am. (Lost $2M in a giant blunder, recovered from near bankruptcy, a very serious car accident, Lyme Disease, and chronic migraines for almost a decade before emerging victorious, 100% healthy, and debt free)
What you don’t know is what I go through to get where I’m going (building a fast growing full service online agency with 15 employees at last count, constantly adjusting and correcting course, managing over 15,000 past customers and even more people on my prospect lists, continually putting out content, dealing with all the interpersonal conflicts, time management, constant changes on the internet, technological challenges, joint ventures, conflicting financial interests, the continual necessity to take care of my own nutrition, sleep, and exercise, planning my marketing calendar, responding to unexpected opportunities, putting out fires, avoiding distraction, etc).
Why do I do it? I mean, I could easily get a cozy little job as a professor in some college town, work a few years for tenure (I’m good at publishing academic stuff), and live a relatively stress free life. I don’t have children, I don’t really spend much money to speak of on material things (have a modestly nice house and I drive a 3 year old Honda Oddysey which is totally dominated by my dogs and hiking clothes) … there aren’t any college bills to pay, and my wife loves generating her own income.
So I don’t HAVE TO do this.
But I love it. THIS is the mountain I want to climb. It’s MY mountain.
By and large I DO do exactly what I want to do, when I want to do it. No one tells me what to talk about, who to serve, or where to be. The money is good, but the life is better.
I’m completely in charge and surrounded by people I love.
Now, here’s something in your way which you probably don’t realize is in your way …
And his name is Sigmund Freud.
While Freud was definitely a man with something to say, entirely too much was made of the Oedipus conflict, and because he was influential in American and European culture, it distracted us from what’s really important in life, and made possible a kind of perverted notion which marketers profit off of called “the internet lifestyle”.
I’m not saying Freud was wrong …OK, there was this dude who wound up sleeping with his mother, killing his father, and he couldn’t live with himself. Incestual strivings create problems … I get it. (Before anyone accuses me of denial, let me just say my Mom is TOTALLY HOT ).
But there’s a MUCH BETTER STORY we can look to for a model of the good life … it’s the story of ODYSSEUS … dude lived a life full of adventure, and in his old age he was surrounded by friends and loved ones who could gather round and share common stories of vitality and purpose.
That’s where I’m going.
I hope you’ll join me.
Because the naked truth is, every step of the way there will definitely be new skills to learn, new challenges to overcome, and new pains to struggle with.
I’ll be brave enough to forgive myself for the inevitable mistakes I’ll make, and I’ll have the fortitude to keep practicing every step of the way.
(Glenn’s nephew, Benjamin Richman – 6 years old, playing “Light and Blue”)
In yesterday’s post I told you there was a less than obvious marketing lesson for PPC marketers, and I asked people to guess what it might be. (If you go read the questions and look at the picture, you’ll understand this post better)
The title of the post (and the subject line of the email I sent to drive traffic there) was “Emotional Marketing Wife Loses Mind”. By the way because of that title I almost had to title TODAY’s POST “Emotional Marketing Wife Files For Divorce”:
Anyway, there were MANY MANY MANY good answers to the question posted on the blog.
But the lesson I wanted you to take away most was PEOPLE WILL TAKE ACTIONS YOU DESIRE IF THEY BELIEVE YOU WILL CHANGE THEIR EMOTIONAL STATE.
You see, there are only really 4 emotions … Mad, Sad, Scared, and Glad. (Everything else is a “shade of grey” built on one or more of these … for example “Elation” is an extreme form of Glad, whereas “Disgusted” is a combination of Sad and Mad)
But the world, for the most part walks around feeling one of the first 3 … Mad, Sad, or Scared.
Anytime your prospect does anything you want them to do … ANYTHING which moves them even an inch along the path from your PPC Ad Impression towards taking money out of their wallet and giving money to you, it’s because they believe this action will move them from Mad, Sad, or Scared –> Glad.
The very specific example was in the behavior you took in response to my email and post yesterday (especially those of you came from the email and left comments).
Knowing that propects will take desired actions in response to a promised change in emotional state, I’m always alert for pictures, stories, events, and other happenings in my life which CHANGE MY OWN EMOTIONAL STATE FOR THE BETTER (move me from Mad/Sad/Scared –> Glad).
Then I ask myself … what’s the most important thing I want my market to do now?
Yesterday, when I got the picture from Sharon, I literally almost peed my pants. I smiled from ear to ear. I glowed inside with love for my wife … I was having a VERY hard day, and it really cheered me up.
I asked myself “What’s the most important thing I want my market to do now?”
Turns out I needed COMMENTS ON MY BLOG.(This blog is fairly new and I’m pushing the SEO rankings up slowly … it’s a new endeavor for me, and I’m learning that comments on the blog are particularly important. By the way … PayPerClickSearchMarketing.com was #1 for “Emotional Marketing Wife” yesterday … not that this is any big accomplishment!)
I came up with an email subject “headline” which encapsulated the picture the best I could … then built the path straight into the picture, and kept the train going to create the comments.
At last count, there were over 50+ comments on that single post. I’ll bet it reaches 100 by the end of the weekend … which be DOUBLE what it was beforehand.
Now … the subject line could have just as well been a PPC ad … and many of you commenters demonstrated the ability to put the ad into Adwords format. And your landing page could have used the picture.
The key is to LINK people into your desired action once you’ve got their emotional state changed.
And although it works in Adwords itself, it’s PARTICULARLY POWERFUL with an opt in email list because you already have a relationship with your subscribers. Relationships = emotional power.
Here’s another example I’ve used in my Rabbit List (note: VERY OLD example web page formatting … but it still works like gangbusters). It goes something like this:
Subject: my psychotic puppy dog
I can’t believe it. My dog has finally gone absolutely insane and stolen the discount coupon
codes for my shopping cart, and now he’s just laughing at me like a deranged lunatic. Here, have a look:
Now here’s the thing. He’s not going to give them back to me unless I feed him steak all weekend, and even then, not until Monday.
But my torture is your gain. I guess my Rabbit Secrets package is all yours now for X% off if you want to get it on this link before Monday morning.
Crazy dog … he’s really done it this time!
See what I mean? People get the email while they’re sitting on their computers, all frustrated with work during the day, etc. Then I genuinely make them smile, and they’re grateful for it … I’ve PROVEN TO THEM I CAN TAKE THEM FROM MAD/SAD/SCARED –> GLAD …
Once I’ve done that EVERY OTHER BENEFIT I OFFER THEM IS MORE BELIEVABLE.
Let me make this perfectly clear.
Every purchase is an emotional purchase IF you understand that an emotional benefit is only the cognitive “word label” we give to the experience of moving from mad/sad/scared –> glad … AND this movement accompanies the anticipated satisfaction of ALL human needs. (Every purchase is made to satisfy some human need … every last one)
Where might YOU use this strategy this week? Let me know!
My wife has officially lost her mind. She just sent me this picture the hygienist took with her phone while she’s in the dental chair (seriously … I just got the picture via email):
Sharon’s been kind of dental-phobic for years and she’s doing some pretty serious work this week. Apparently she talked the dentist into letting her bring the dog in for comfort. (I swear by this particular dentist by the way)
Now the thing is, there’s a VERY VERY STRONG EMOTIONAL MARKETING LESSON in this post for pay per click marketers. But it’s not obvious.
Can you guess what it is?
Leave me your COMMENTS below … I’ll post the answer tomorrow! (I’d also be interested in everyone’s best CAPTION for the picture)
Sarah left an interesting comment about our list of 37 Emotional Benefits , and one which is almost always mentioned in one form or another when we consult with large companies about their branding … essentially “I don’t see _____ emotion on the list”.
Here’s how the list was developed.
We started with hundreds of our own consumer studies and in-depth emotional interview transcripts to find any reference to emotional states related to purchase.
In total, we had over 600 possible emotions to start with.
We then presented these to an expert panel of 16 psychologists and marketing executives, who were instructed to eliminate redundancies and group the emotions into similar piles. They were able to reduce the list to a little under 100.
We then designed a study to reduce this list even further to a more manageable number. Our goal was to have the shortest list of human emotions which could motivate purchase … so that marketers could use them in advertising research, and agencies/copywriters could use them in actually developing their messaging.
In the study, we presented over 1,000 consumers FACIAL PICTURES of two dozen different people with a variety of different facial expressions, clothing, … and of different demographic constitution (age, ethnicity, etc)
We asked them ONE question …
“How important might it be to THIS person (picture shown) to feel THIS (emotion exposed) in their life?” (To avoid fatigue, not every consumer rated all the emotions, nor saw every facial picture)
A kind of sophisitcated mathematical analysis (“factor analysis”) showed fairly decisively that the list could be clustered into no more than 37 emotions, which are represented in the 37 Emotional Benefits chart. (There’s actually an even smaller, more workable list of 21 if you’re willing to sacrifice a certain degree of statistical accuracy)
Every time we work with a client, they see one of the other 563 emotions we started with which would be more relevant to their work. But this study showed that what they’re really seeing is just a nuance of one of the emotions in the “magic 37”. (A lot of clients used to make us prove it to them by testing and then running regressions to show the mathematical relationship … trust me, it always works and it’s not worth the effort!)
Here’s a fascinating observation about Adwords you’ll only hear from a shrink raised in a family of 17 psychologists, psychotherapists, and social workers.
You see, while your Dad was telling you ghost stories and taking you to baseball games, MY Dad was telling me a fascinating story about a study completed in a “mental institution” (I hate the term) the year I was born.
In 1964, at the Ypsilanti State Hospital in Michigan, Milton Rokeach wanted to see if it was possible to treat delusions by forcing them to “auction for space” against one another. He noticed it wasn’t uncommon for men to present at the hospital claiming to be Jesus Christ. Rokeach reasoned if he put’m all together, they’d have to realize it was impossible for ALL of them to be Jesus, so the delusions would collapse.
He arranged to have 3 of them in the same therapy group. But it didn’t work.
Or at least, it didn’t work the way he thought it would … the delusions persisted. (As an interesting and totally tangential aside, you can never REASON someone out of a delusion … delusions are dealt with and resolved in FORM, not substance … what you see in the movies is total prairie poop)
Anyway, instead of giving up their delusions when confronted with the truth of each other’s presence, these men molded themselves to allow for the existence of each other … they decided to form a “Society of Christs”. There personal identities were too precious to sacrifice.
Instead, they paradoxically found they could reinforce each other as friends.
Now … if you think this was just a psychology lesson you’re missing the point. (Also, I hope this doesn’t have to be said, but I’m not making any religious arguments or statement here)
Many of my students come to me at first very, very concerned about the intense competition in the Adwords auction.
They believe it will be next to impossible to carve out a unique space for themselves in a market which is “already sewn up”. But this reasoning follows the same logic Rokeach was convinced of at the outset of his study … and fails to recognize the propensity of humans to make room for a multitude of individuals offering fairly similar stories and presentations, and the innate tendency to artfully adjust one’s “plumage” to attract attention in a competitive environment.
Now I’m not saying it’s easy, or there’s not a process involved which takes some time (e.g. getting into the traffic stream, adjusting your bid, split testing a dozen or so ads, etc), but I am saying what Rokeach observed is the same thing we see in Adwords all the time …
There’s usually room for 3 vendors to tell the same story in just slightly different ways …
Which makes the whole thing just a little less frightening, don’t you think?
For what it’s worth,
Dr. G 🙂
PS – I just have to say, I really LOVE being able to finish my day like this. (I had a very hard day today). I love that you read this far, and seriously considered what I had to say. I love that you continue to give me a chance to be significant in your life. I love that wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, at this moment my thoughts are connecting to yours, and maybe, just maybe, changing your emotional state. Thank you. (Really… thank you).
PPS – Rokeach’s odd book (a detailed account of the study) is still in print if you’re so inclined to look it up.