One of the most compelling elements of your marketing is something you’ll never find in a textbook, in a marketing guru’s course, or taught at a seminar…
It’s your willingness to “Take a Stand Against the Madness”.
Here’s what I mean…
We live in a crazy world. So no matter what market you’re in, there’s madness: a kind of plague of overly simplistic, consensus driven thought which leaves people feeling desperate and alone, yet frightened to question authority.
Your ability to identify the madness, but more importantly your willingness to stand aside from it will distinguish you as a marketer like nothing else I know, because it’s this and only this which gives you the ability to connect with the consumer on the deepest level… to relieve the deepest desperation and despair they’re feeling as a result of living in an insane world.
Moreover, in every market there’s a general madness which obfuscates the most fundamental truths people really need to know, and then a specific madness which prevents people from learning the features and functions they should really be looking for.
For example, the general madness in OUR market (internet marketing) is the notion of the 4 hour work week, and that one can be making a full time living within just a few months. (The truth is it’s more like going to college to get another degree…you should definitely do better with the degree if you pick the right school, but it usually takes a few years and you don’t get a million dollar job right after you graduate, you get a career path you’re happy with instead)
The specific madness is the idea that (a) you can shout emotional benefits at people and they’ll buy (you’ve gotta link emotional benefits to concrete and specific points of difference–real features and functions which distinguish you from the competitors and make sense in the context of the emotion you’re promising to deliver); (b) you can find points of difference by looking at FAQs (when the truth is that frequently asked questions are also frequently answered).
In the “emotional eating” market (the one I demonstrate entering in the hyper-responsive club from month 3 onwards), the general madness is the notion you lose weight for good in 30 days, while the specific madness is the idea you have to learn “how to handle” your cravings (rather than methodically embracing the life force which is behind them without guilt or stress)
In both these situations, there’s a distinct relief which arises as people come to see you take a stand. They feel less alone. They think you’ve “got something special”.
And in fact, you must “have something special”, or your project is unlikely to work as more than a commodity play, squeezed on thin margins in the long run.
Now here’s the kicker…
To have something special, you’ve got to be willing to BE someone special…
Which means you really DO have to be willing to take a stand against the status quo…
To rock the boat…
To be hated by many.
It also means you have to be willing to be changed by your market… to love them so much you’ll give up notions which, going into the project, were critical to the security of your sense of self. (For example, in emotional eating, I thought I was going into the market to help people be more disciplined with their food, and instead I learned that the desire for discipline, in part, was a manifestation of an unhealthy fear of food… this challenged my day to day life in a fundamental way)
Are you willing to take a stand against the madness?
I really don’t think there’s any other way.
Food for thought,