In a rare departure from our favorite topic of DATA driven marketing, we’d like to dedicate this post to another big driver of buyer behavior:
We stumbled on an old issue of The New Yorker from last year’s election season, and an article entitled “The Lie Factory – How Politics Became a Business.” It chronicles some of the very first political consultants from back in the 1930s, and some discouraging tales about how they have helped Big Business triumph over Democracy.
While you read it, depending on your own political leanings, you may either be infuriated – or amazed at the “efficiency” of these operators. (Sadly, the messages they promoted were far from the truth.)
So while not CONDONING these practices, we thought it might be fun to examine some of the quotes from various political operatives on motivating behavior and shaping perception. (Sorry in advance for the masculine third-person here – these quotes were from 1933-1968.)
“Keep it simple. Rhyming’s good.”
“Never explain anything. The more you have to explain…the more difficult it is to win support.”
“Say the same thing over and over again. We assume we have to get a voter’s attention seven times to make a sale.”
“Simplify, simplify, simplify. A wall goes up when you try to make Mr. and Mrs. Average American Citizen work or think.”
“Voters are basically uninterested in making an effort to understand what we’re talking about.”
“Reason pushes the viewer back, it assaults him, it demands that he agree or disagree. Impression can envelop him, invite him in, without making an intellectual demand. . . . When we argue with [the voter] we demand that he make the effort of replying. We seek to engage his intellect, and for most people this is the most difficult work of all. The emotions are more easily roused, closer to the surface, more malleable.”
These concepts are nothing new for our colleagues in the Branding world. But for the rest of us, as the communications world continues to get more complex, even something as simple as “simplification” can be very difficult to remember.
Speaking of which, this post is now over 350 words. Until next time…