This week’s focus:
As a marketing consultant, I worked with numerous leaders who work in academic circles, such as counselors, professors, pastors, and specialty book publishers. A common problem among these scholastic groups is the tendency to believe that their marketing should be exempt from the need to answer the consumers’ primary question, “What’s in it for me?” Appealing to a person’s felt need is viewed as stooping to a lower level of commerce.
They maintain that focusing on logic, displaying didactic descriptions of their content, and listing pedantic endorsements should rule a promotional campaign. I would agree that this attitude makes sense if you only want to preach to the choir. But, if you want to expand sales beyond just a small restricted club, that type of narrow-minded approach will limit your growth.
Some academic leaders forget that everything is a felt need. People aren’t robots. Logic might make us think, but it is emotion that makes us act. Every decision, no matter how academic, is still infused with the desire to protect and achieve our self-interests. Ironically, the most studious people in the world still buy fancy food because it tastes good, nice clothes because they look good, fine wine and fast cars because it makes them feel good.
Marketing efforts are rarely effective when you treat people like robots who should ignore their self-interests. Robots don’t run our economy. People do. People who buy things according to a desire that says, “What’s in it for me?” Therefore, when it comes to marketing, no matter how academic the product, everything is a felt need.
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