Honestly, NOTHING… really changes.
Earlier this week 1,200 people got together out in Phoenix, Arizona, to attend the 97th annual conference of the Association of National Advertisers.
Now before I tell you more of this story, stop for a moment and consider just how powerful that last sentence is. What a stronghold advertising has here in America! I mean, the country is only 231 years old, and for almost half that time, there’s been a NATIONAL meeting of advertisers.
Did you know the even the American Medical Association is only 74 years old. And the mighty NRA is only 35 years old.
Puts things in perspective, doesn’t it?
If that doesn’t tell you how much we as a country are influenced by advertising, then I have nothing else to convince you.
(By the way, neither of those last two figures I gave you are true. That’s just called “entertainment.”)
Anyway, back to my story.
So the big topic nowadays at this convention in Phoenix, and at many others like it, is “soft” marketing. That people are sick and tired of being pounded over the head to buy things, and they just won’t put up with it. (R-i-i-i-ght.)
That what’s really important is consumer “behavior,” and all this advanced technology we’ve got is going to allow us to make better marketing matches.
You’ve heard this before, right?
So keep this in mind, and in fact, you can just stroll through the pages of either USA Today or The New York Times over any two-week period during this last year, and you’ll see similar news items about how marketers are having to me more “gentle” nowadays.
(Am I gentle?)
Now I want you to roll the clock back a bit — let’s say… 60 years ago to 1947. Because back in the late 1940’s there was a very effective and famous salesman and author, named Elmer Wheeler. If you’re a student of this business, then no doubt you’ve heard of his book called “Tested Sentences That Sell.”
Elmer had a “word laboratory” in New York City, where he tested the effectiveness (measured by sales, not “pretty ads”) of various word combinations in a variety of real-life situations, and he was very successful at this.
But Wheeler wrote a number of other books as well. As a matter of fact, right now I’m smack dab in the middle of his book called “How To Sell Yourself To Others.”
And you know what, oddly enough right there on the bottom of page 4, Wheeler says, “… it isn’t a question of high-pressure selling, for that has gone out with the cigar-store Indian, the derby, and gold-plated fountain pens. Low-pressure sizzlemanship is the new thing. Don’t underestimate it, for it is powerful stuff.”
Sounds like those guys at last week’s ANA conference, doesn’t it?
Here’s the thing: Sure, you can perform knee-surgery today with a magic wand that lets you walk out of the operating room a few hours later, and back in 1947 when Wheeler wrote that book, you might have died on the table from a surgery like this. But when it comes to the predictability of people and what they want, nothing really ever changes.
Of course, things like the iPod and the internet will make the world a different place, but our behavioral and emotional reaction to it, is no different than our reaction to the introduction of the automobile… or the first commercial airplane flight.
When it comes to you and me, and how we feel inside, everything’s old that’s new.
See, now that was worth waiting a couple of days for, wasn’t it?
And lastly, if you’re one of the people who’ve been asking me how come my tips seem to come erratically, that’s just because I’m incredibly busy. If truth be told, I’m busier than DeBeers during engagement season. Right now I’ve got more opportunities than a crooked politician, and so I’m just making hay… while the sun’s… still… shining.
Now go sell something, Craig
P.S. BEHAVIOR?: If you’ve struggled with success, there’s a particular behavioral trait successful people have, that others don’t, and it’s one you can EASILY adapt and reinforce, once you’re aware of it. It’s in “The Back End” column of this month’s Seductive Selling newsletter, which you can test-drive FRE.E, right now, for thirty days, AND get a ton of valuable marketing gifts as well: http://www.kingofcopy.com/ssnl
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