How Marketing Success Is Deeply Connected To Farting

Submitted by Dmitri Davydov on Tue, 2006-08-08 10:37.
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Watch closely, now. See, nothing up my sleeves. For my next trick, I shall reveal to you how marketing success is deeply connected to...


Thank you, thank you. Please sit down. All right. Actually, I want to show you how world-class salesmen use a cool psychological trick called “cognitive re-framing” to put the correct mental spin on a marketing campaign.

This trick was explained to me by a very savvy psychologist who uses it with outrageous success with therapy patients. And I love the example he used to illustrate it: A family was in bitter turmoil because their father had an irritable bowel... and he regularly upset the peace of the house by ripping off gaseous explosions that sounded like a Harley with a bad exhaust manifold.

Everyone was embarrassed, ashamed and in a bad mood. And yet they solved the problem relatively easily. They simply “re-framed” the way they perceived what was happening. They agreed that, every time Pop would discharge another round, they would pretend he had just yelled “I love you!”

And everyone within earshot would yell back to him “I love you, too, Pop!”

Instantly, the embarrassment, shame and bad moods lightened up. It became a family in-joke, rather than a dark secret.

What’s this got to do with marketing?

Lots. Here’s a great example: I recently wrote a great long-copy ad for a client who was attempting to bust into a new market niche. There are several large-circulation magazines in this niche, and he chose two of the best-known to test this new ad.

As orders started coming in, I would occasionally call to find out how the project was doing. And the sad answer, for weeks, was the same: “It looks like the ad is only breaking even.”

That just didn’t seem right to me. It was a killer ad, and this market had never seen this kind of balls-to-the-wall salesmanship before. We should have been kicking serious ass.

Finally, after hearing this response for the third or fourth time, I asked to see some numbers. And I had to laugh when they came in.

The ad was not “breaking even”. One of the mags was pulling dog-meat numbers, it’s true... but the other magazine was already at two-to-one ($2 in orders for every buck the ad cost) halfway through the month. With weeks still left on its shelf-life. It was a winner.

In other words: We had identified which hot magazine to run this and all future ads in... and also identified a loser mag that was probably lying about its circulation. The market was rabid for the product. They just weren’t paying attention to every rag out there. It was a very successful test.

By simply “re-framing” the answer -- and not going snow-blind looking at it in just one way (in this case, despairing over total numbers instead of examining each ad individually) -- everyone’s mood brightened considerably.

And the client realized he had a respectable hit on his hands, and needed to get busy with a fresh back-end product to maximize profits.

How are you looking at your current marketing efforts? You know, when things aren’t going the way you’d like them to, it’s basic human nature to start hunting for someone or something to blame.

And it’s important to remind yourself that it’s never the customer’s fault when an ad doesn’t sell. Even the best writers on the planet pen a lame ad once in a while. (If you aren’t failing occasionally, you ain’t pushing hard enough. All the great writers and marketers are risk-takers, and that guarantees a bomb now and again.)

When this happens, simply go back to the fundamentals... and “re-frame” your sales pitch. Take a good, long, cynical look at your unique sales proposition. Can you sum up, in one killer pithy sentence, why someone should do business with you... and not the other guy? (The essence of that sentence should be somewhere in your headline or opening paragraph.)

It’s a cliché, but it’s one that brings home the bacon: You gotta walk a mile in your customer’s shoes before you can sell to him.

Listen to yourself making your basic sales pitch -- would you, in the same position your prospect is in right now, be interested in this product?

Your customer needs to hear certain things from you before he will open his wallet. You need to nail his passionate “sweet spot” with specific benefits, craft an offer no sane man could refuse... and get him so worked up he won’t be able to sleep until he gives you money. Maybe you’re only telling part of the story right now... and gutting your potential profits in the process.

Sometimes the glass is half empty, sometimes it’s half full... and sometimes you just need to order another friggin’ beer.

It’s all in the way you look at it, Bucko.

John Carlton,

$12 Billion of Inside Marketing Secrets Discovered Through Direct Response Television Sales